An accident or injury to the brain can lead to a brain contusion. A contusion is essentially a bruise that affects the tissue of the brain. The prognosis of the condition is usually good, and patients can lead long and happy lives after receiving a diagnosis. There are many things that patients need knowledge about before and after meeting with a doctor.
Symptoms of a Brain Contusion
Traumatic brain injuries can impact patients in some different ways. The more severe the condition is, the more symptoms they will have. Those with a contusion can suffer from some intense side effects that worsen the longer they avoid seeing a doctor. A loss of consciousness is one of the more serious side effects. This can last from a few minutes to an hour or longer. Some patients may find that they lose consciousness more frequently after suffering a brain injury.
Patients may also experience immobilizing headaches, tiredness, insomnia, loss of memory, difficulty concentrating and trouble speaking. Left untreated, a brain contusion can also lead to personality changes. The family and friends of those with a contusion may notice variations in both attitude and behaviors.
What Causes a Contusion?
A contusion is a type of brain injury that involves some trauma to the head. Most patients diagnosed with an injury receive that diagnosis after surviving a car accident. The motion of his or her head hitting the steering wheel, an airbag or another part of the vehicle can cause bruising and swelling of the brain. NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau is one of the most famous TBI victims. The driver was at the top of his sport when he was in an accident on the track that left him unable to compete in future races. The most common cause of a contusion in a younger person is a sports related injury. Playing football and other sports without the proper headgear can lead to a contusion.
Diagnosing a Contusion
When a patient comes to the emergency room or visits a doctor, the doctor will first determine if the patient exhibits signs of a contusion. The doctor will also ask if the patient lost consciousness at any point and go down the list of symptoms to see which ones the patient has. After determining that the patient may suffer from a contusion, the doctor will use one of two tests to see inside the brain. Those tests include a CAT scan or an MRI. These tests give doctors a good view of the brain itself and let he or she look for signs of swelling or bruising.
How Do Doctors Treat Contusions?
Patients occasionally think that they can treat their brain problems on their own and that they do not need help from a physician. Those who leave the condition untreated may suffer from poor motor skills, concentration problems and other symptoms that can make their lives difficult. Before administering any treatment, doctors will determine the severity of the contusion. Surgery is one of the more common types of procedures used. Surgery allows physicians to reduce swelling caused by the bruising and prevent further damage. Doctors will also use antibiotics to treat infections in the body that may increase the swelling. With proper care, those diagnosed with bruising of the brain or a contusion can recover from their symptoms and lead a longer and healthier life without that injury slowing them down