It’s always important to keep brain injury prevention at the top of our minds, so we’re taking time to reflect on the wonder of our brains. They provide us with amazing imaginations, house our happiest memories, alert our other organs to do their jobs, and enable us to learn, laugh and enjoy our lives.
Our skulls are designed to protect our brains, but outside forces, such as a fall or car accident, can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are classified as mild, moderate or severe depending on whether the injury results in unconsciousness, how long it lasts, and other symptoms. Fortunately, the brain is neuroplastic, which means it has the ability in most cases to heal and recover over time with proper treatment and care.
A TBI can occur at any age, and in varying degrees. A mild TBI may or may not cause unconsciousness that lasts 30 minutes or less. Symptoms may appear at the time of the injury or soon after. In some cases, the symptoms may not develop for several days or weeks, or even years. Moderate TBIs cause unconsciousness that lasts between 30 minutes and 24 hours, and severe TBIs result in unconsciousness for more than 24 hours.
Even a mild brain injury can affect our cognitive abilities, impacting attention and concentration, processing ability, memory retention, planning and organizing skills, problem-solving, judgement and so much more.
With proper attention, TBIs can be prevented. Here are a few simple ways:
Wear protective gear when participating in sports—especially contact sports
Buckle your seatbelt and drive defensively
Pay attention to your surroundings—both inside the home and out; uneven sidewalks and loose area rugs are easy to trip on
Improve your balance with yoga or balance balls, and keep your muscles strong by staying active and fit
If you have sustained a head injury, it is critical to seek medical care and treatment as quickly as possible, and to let your health care professional know about any symptoms you may be experiencing after the fact.
Our brains are what keep us engaged in this amazing world and we don’t want to miss a minute! To learn more about preventing and treating TBI, visit our Publications page to read the Spring 2020 Newsletter – Treating Cognitive Impairment Due To Traumatic Brain Injury.
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