Brain Injuries: What to Look For and How to Lower Your Risk
March 05, 2019 - Posted by
The Brain Injury Association of America acknowledges March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month. During this month, we become aware of the different types of brain injuries, signs and symptoms of an injury, and how to protect ourselves.
For starters, there are two different types of brain injuries: Non-traumatic and traumatic. Non-traumatic brain injuries can include strokes, seizures, electric shock, toxic exposure to substances such as carbon monoxide, lead, etc., lack of oxygen, and drug overdose. Traumatic brain injuries include falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports/recreation injuries, electric shock, and violence or abuse.
So, what are some signs that someone may be experiencing or has experienced a brain injury? Some signs of trauma may be obvious, but other signs may be subtle.
- Physical signs: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, or noise and light sensitivity.
- Cognitive/Emotional signs: slowed reaction times, difficulty learning new information, more emotional than usual (sad, irritated, impulsive), slurred speech, or not being able to keep up with conversations.
- Sleep signs: disturbed sleeping cycles such as not being able to fall asleep, sleeping more, or not sleeping as soundly.
How can we limit our chances of experiencing a brain injury?
- Use safety equipment: Items such as seatbelts, life jackets, helmets, facemasks, eye protection, etc. can help us stay safe whether at home, work, or play. The more that can help us protect ourselves, the better.
- Use caution: Watch for areas that could be unsafe causing falling, electric shock or lightning strikes, drowning, or low ceiling heights. This is also a timely reminder since we still have icy areas outside!
- Make living areas safe: This is especially important for children and seniors. Precautions such as no-slip mats, safe handrails, proper lighting, safety gates and electrical outlet covers could make a huge difference!
For more information on brain injuries and Brain Injury Awareness month, please visit the Brain Injury Association of America website.
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