Today’s Tip of the Day talks about misconceptions and myths about adults with brain injury.
There is a great deal of misinformation about what is considered a traumatic brain injury.
Myth #1. If there is no loss of consciousness, there is not a traumatic brain injury.
Fact: In a mild traumatic brain injury, there may be no loss of consciousness, but the injured person may be in a dazed, confused or disoriented state. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect brain cells temporarily, while more serious TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. (Mayo Clinic)
Myth #2. You must hit your head to sustain a TBI.
Fact: You can indeed suffer a traumatic brain injury even if you do not sustain a blow from an outside force or object. The rapid acceleration and deceleration that occurs in a car crash, when the head is thrown forward and then slams backward, can cause serious injury to the delicate structures of the brain.
Myth #3. You can see the effects of a traumatic brain injury right away.
Fact: The effects of TBI are not always evident immediately. A person might walk away from a crash or a fall, be fully conscious and insist that he or she feels fine.
Myth #4. A helmet will prevent serious brain injuries.
Fact: Helmets can protect the head from penetrating head wounds, and cushion the blow of an impact, but they do not always protect the brain from all serious head injuries. A helmet might mean the difference between surviving a crash and not surviving, but it is never a guarantee that there will not be a head or brain injury.
Myth #5. A person recovering from a brain injury will show steady improvement until they are completely healed.
Fact: Every TBI is different and every person will heal at their own pace, based on the severity of their injury, the person’s age and health condition. In some cases, however, the injury is so severe that it will alter the victim’s life forever, and full healing – in terms of cognitive abilities, or fine motor skills, for example – may be impossible.
Myth #6. Mild injuries do not ever have lasting consequences.
Fact: Every TBI will have different consequences. Most people with a concussion or mild TBI will be fine, but some may develop something called post-concussion syndrome, or PCS. This can last for months (and in some cases, a year or more) but the good news is, it’s pretty rare: only about 10% of people with head injuries will develop the condition, though it could be permanent if an injury victim has not recovered within three years.
Check out our learning library at www.alaskabraininjury.net for online pamphlets with more tips on this and other issues that affect those with brain injury.