Not only are brain injuries some of the most devastating and life-threatening that you can possibly endure, but they are also some of the scariest. No one wants to think that their mental faculties could be placed in jeopardy following an accident or because of some rare disease, and recovery can be painful or sometimes impossible. So what are some of the most common brain injuries? It probably won’t come as too big a surprise that getting hit in the head tops the list!
Concussions are perhaps the most common head injury, and they occur when an impact causes blood vessels to stretch or prevent nerves from carrying out their normal functions. Most often they’re caused by a blow to the head, but firearms can also result in similar cranial consequences. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose if symptoms aren’t obvious. It’s possible that someone who suffers a concussion might lose consciousness for a brief period of time. Even if you stay awake, you might feel dizzy or confused. Be sure to seek medical evaluation when you might have had a blow to the head.
Impacts can also result in contusions, which is simply bleeding in the brain. These don’t always require surgery, but larger ones need to be removed.
More serious, yet still common, brain injuries are caused by kinetic, mechanical impacts, such as when you are involved in a vehicular collision. A closed brain injury happens if your head undergoes a massive rush of moving forward or backward and then slows quickly. Think of whiplash. When you experience a closed brain injury, the brain tissue itself is smashed and stretched, which causes torn nerve tissue. These injuries can result in a wide array of symptoms depending on how bad the damage is and where it occurred in the brain.
Anoxic injuries occur when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. This may cause cell death to occur and symptoms vary. It can be caused by spending too much time underwater without access to air, drugs, chemicals, electric shock, or kidney failure.
Those are some of the most common, but “locked in syndrome” is one of the rarest conditions someone may have the misfortune to experience. It’s basically just what it sounds like: the person with the syndrome is conscious, but cannot move any part of the body outside of the eyes. Although this makes communication difficult, eye movements make it possible.
Because brain injuries can result in such grave injury, it’s important to be aware of the consequences to these injuries and know how best to avoid them depending on what you do day-to-day. Be careful to wear a seatbelt while in any vehicle, and wear a helmet during activities that should require one. Anything else is not worth the risk.