When you are impacted by a brain injury, there are some things that you can expect and others that will be relatively unknown until more time has passed. From the first moment you have a brain injury, you’re starting on a long road to recovery.
While some minor or moderate brain injuries may recover quickly, those with acute traumatic brain injuries may take years to recover. Some people may never really recover fully, which is also something that you, your friends and your family have to keep in mind.
What should you expect while recovering from a brain injury?
Depending on the severity of the injury, you can expect a number of symptoms and effects. Some of them may include:
- Severe headaches
- Dizziness or problems with balance
- Mood swings
- Flat affect, or lacking emotions
- Double vision
- Problems with attention
- Lack of insight
- Weakness in the muscles
- Trouble making decisions
- Sensitivity to light or sound
These and other symptoms may occur immediately after the injury or persist. These are common secondary effects that tend to get better over time, but for some people, they will never go away completely.
How can patients maximize their recoveries?
Patients can give themselves the best chance of recovery by going through rehabilitation. The brain is in an increased state of neuroplasticity within the six months following the initial injury, so recovery will happen most quickly during that time. Going through rehabilitative therapies at that time may help patients improve more than if therapies are delayed.
Recovery can happen after six months, because the brain never runs out of neuroplasticity. That means that you can continue to heal as long as you continue to simulate the brain. In one study, it was determined that some patients were still able to improve their functionality even 10 years after the initial brain injury.
There is hope for people living with brain injuries. Recovery will take time, however, no matter how much effort is put into therapy or other medical care. After an accident leading to this kind of injury, it may be beneficial to seek compensation to support you as you focus on your long-term recovery goals.