You can get a brain injury from something that happens inside your body, like an aneurysm or a stroke—or from an external cause, like a traumatic brain injury from a violent blow to the head. Regardless of what caused the brain injury, damaged brain tissue can cause lifelong impairments.
What You Should Know About Aneurysms
According to the Mayo Clinic, a brain aneurysm happens when a blood vessel in the brain develops an unusual shape like a bulge or a balloon. An aneurysm can look like a berry dangling off of the main blood vessel. On its own, a brain aneurysm might not cause problems, but this vascular abnormality is a ticking time bomb.
Eventually, the aneurysm is likely to cause bleeding into the brain. An aneurysm involves stretched vascular material, which gets weakened because of being pulled into an unintended shape. The aneurysm can leak, causing blood to seep into brain tissue.
If the aneurysm ruptures, the blood vessel can hemorrhage, causing a massive brain bleed called a hemorrhagic stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a subarachnoid hemorrhage is the least common type of hemorrhagic stroke, though. This rupture occurs between the brain and its covering tissue. Bleeding into the brain is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment.
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What You Should Know About Strokes
A stroke occurs when brain cells die because of a lack of blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain tissues. MedlinePlus says that this situation can result from either decreased or interrupted blood flow. A clot in a blood vessel can prevent any blood from flowing through that vessel to the brain.
Regardless of whether the stroke happens from reduced or interrupted blood flow to the brain, the situation is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. Minutes count when it comes to the death of brain cells.
Sometimes people discover that they have already had mini-strokes in the past without realizing it. These transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) result from a momentary lessening of blood flow to part of the brain. Although TIAs usually do not cause permanent damage to brain tissue, a person who has experienced a TIA has a higher risk of developing a stroke in the future because the same factors cause both conditions.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Whenever a person experiences a severe impact to the head or body, a traumatic brain injury can result. Also, if something pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue, that object can cause traumatic brain injury. For example, a person might get a skull fracture from a fall accident. A jagged piece of the fractured skull could penetrate and damage brain tissue.
A mild traumatic brain injury can cause temporary disruption in the person’s ability to function and interact with their surrounding environment. The individual could lose consciousness briefly, have a headache with or without nausea or vomiting, and be overly sensitive to light or sound.
A person who suffers a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury could experience any of the symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury. These American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that a TBI victim may face:
- Extended loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils in one or both of the eyes
- Vegetative state
People who survive mild to severe traumatic brain injury can face a lifetime of impairment, pain, and decreased quality of life.
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Events that Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injury
These four situations are some possible causes of traumatic brain injury:
- Car accidents and other collisions involving vehicles—including bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians who get caught up in those events
- Fall accidents—most often in the bathroom, on stairs, or on a bed or ladder (young children and older adults are at the highest risk of traumatic brain injury from falls)
- A high number of sports activities can cause traumatic brain injuries (both contact sports like football and solo activities like skateboarding can lead to these injuries)
- Many traumatic brain injuries are the result of violence—including shaken baby syndrome, domestic violence, assaults, and gunshot wounds.
Even without making direct physical contact, active-duty military personnel can sustain traumatic brain injury because of explosive blasts. The force of a pressure wave may cause so much disruption to brain function that a traumatic brain injury could result.
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How a Brain Injury Can Impact Your Life
Regardless of how you get a brain injury, these significant events can change your life for many years. Some people can never again support themselves through gainful employment because of the impairment from brain damage from a stroke, aneurysm, or traumatic brain injury. Some individuals slip into a coma or vegetative state. After a stroke, many people do not regain the ability to speak or otherwise communicate.
If you or your close relative sustained a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help. You can call us today at 800-777-7777 for a free consultation.