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Vision Problems and Traumatic Brain Injury: What You Need to Know

Vision Problems can occur even after minor brain injuries, including concussions. Sometimes symptoms do not emerge until some time has passed after the initial injury. 

Depending on the part of the brain that is affected, visual processing and perception can be affected. 

If the patient notices vision changes, it is essential to follow up with an eye specialist. Some specialize in visual changes after head injuries and know how to best address symptoms.

 

How is Vision Connected to Brain Injury?

Vision includes how our brains process what we see. Vision affects other areas of the body, including how we think and move. If vision is impacted, it can affect many different areas of our daily life. Reading, driving, and completing tasks at work can all be affected. 

 

How are Vision Changes Diagnosed?

Many providers who specialize in rehabilitation for brain injuries can diagnose vision problems. Sometimes therapists or clinicians in inpatient neuro-rehabilitation centers are the first to notice. Often they will make a referral to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) for proper diagnosis and treatment. 

There are even neuro-ophthalmologists who specialize in visual problems after head injury. They have additional training to address the specific needs of head injury patients. 

 

What are Common Visual Changes in Head Injury Patients?

Several visual changes can occur due to a head injury. Some common problems include: 

  • Blurred vision, especially for objects that are up close
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Double vision

Sometimes the patient even has complete vision loss in one or both eyes. Problems with vision are dependent upon the area of the brain that is affected. 

 

What Happens if Visual Changes are not Treated?

If left untreated, visual problems can become serious. It can affect the patient’s ability to organize and process visual information. It can lead to poor depth perception and also affect balance.

Daily living tasks can become more challenging to complete. This can include: 

  • Reading, watching television, or work on the computer
  • Being bothered in environments with specific lighting
  • Leaning forward or backward or even walking due to balance issues
  • Difficulty scanning and visual coding information 

 

How are Visual Changes Treated?

Ophthalmologists may make different recommendations dependent upon the type of injury. 

They might recommend taking frequent breaks and resting the eyes. This is important when doing activities that may place stress on the eyes such as reading, watching television or when on the computer. 

Ophthalmologists and opticians may prescribe magnifying glasses as they can make objects easier to see. Electronic readers can be helpful to increase the print size and make it easier for the patient to see. 

Avoiding specific environments where the light is bothersome can be especially helpful. Fluorescent lighting can be especially irritating for head injury patients. Tinted glasses can sometimes be beneficial if patients are sensitive to lighting after head injuries. 

Avoiding visual overload is also suggested. This means keeping areas free of clutter and organized. It’s helpful to keep all items neat and in one place. This also helps with memory as patients know where to find items without additional stress. 

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Where Can I Get Help for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehabilitation facility specializing in Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and other complex injuries. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. 

Contact us for more information today! You can simply give us a call at Give us a Call 800.626.3876 or make a referral. We can help patients to get their life back!

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Sports-related traumatic head injuries

Sports-related head injuries are so common that they are the second leading cause of injury after motor vehicle accidents. Often when we hear the word “concussion,” we associate it with a sports injury. 

But how critical can these injuries be, and are there long-term effects of a head injury? Every athlete and family member needs to become educated on head injuries because long-term consequences result in permanent damage. 

Sometimes injuries are so severe they require post-acute rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programs aim to help athletes heal and regain many skills so they can return to their (as close as possible) pre-injury state. 

 

How Do I Know My Athlete Has a Head Injury?

Sometimes you may not know your athlete has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) initially. One of the most common signs is a change in mental status. Other symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Memory Concerns
  • Sleeping Difficulties

If you are suspicious of a TBI, it is imperative that the athlete continues to play and is evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. 

A doctor may perform a thorough evaluation which may include neurocognitive testing. They will be looking for baseline functioning in areas such as memory, problem-solving, and attention. Loved ones can often assist by working with the professional to note any changes in these areas as the evaluation is performed. 

 

The Levels of Sports-Related Head Injuries

Some professionals use a grading system to classify a head injury and then determine when an athlete is ready to play again. The system consists of five different levels:

  • Level one- Mild trauma to the head such as a contusion or laceration 
  • Level two- An increase in symptoms. The athlete may experience symptoms such as headaches or dizziness.
  • Level three- Mild TBI where some change in mental status may be seen. The athlete may even have a temporary loss of consciousness. 
  • Level flour- A TBI where the patient experiences a loss of consciousness for over a minute but under 5 minutes. They may also experience some amount of memory loss. 
  • Level five- A severe TBI that can even be life-threatening. There may be bleeding in the brain or increased intracranial pressure. Athletes who lose consciousness for over 5 minutes or have amnesia for more than 24 hours can be considered in this category. 

If the patient has a more severe injury such as a level four or five, they may require more intensive rehab at reputable neuro-rehabilitation facilities

 

When Can My Athlete Return to Play?

You never want to rush the athlete to return to play after a head injury. They can be at risk for post-concussive syndrome, where multiple head injuries are sustained on top of one another, putting them at serious risk of severe damage. 

Their doctor will determine when or if they can return to their sport after suffering a TBI. The most critical factor is their health and safety always. 

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Where Can I Find Rehab for a Brain Injury? 

NeuLife Rehab is a residential post-acute rehab facility specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, neurological disorder rehab and more. Our skilled team provides rehabilitation to patients with many types of brain injury, including sports-related traumatic brain injuries. The goal is always to help the patient return to their pre-injury state as much as possible. 

Neulife’s treatment programs include physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, and vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, our inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites.

If you believe your athlete can benefit from our services, please contact us today! You can also make a referral or schedule a tour!

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Cognitive Therapy Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury

The nature and extent of the cognitive impairment following TBI can range widely, depending on the severity and positioning of the injury. If a focal brain injury transpires, the outcome could be comparable to an injury provoked by a CVA (Cerebrovascular accident or stroke), such as: 

  • Aphasia

Impacting the ability of the patient to communicate either written, spoken or both.

  • Apraxia

The loss of ability to do motor skills due to brain injury

  • Unilateral neglect

Involves inattention of sensory on one side of the body and over attention of sensory on the other. 

  • Visuospatial dysfunction

 Involves understanding how objects are in relation to space

Nevertheless, these are the usual findings following TBI. Due to the mechanisms of acceleration-deceleration, the most common symptoms include and memory deficiency, difficulty in adhering to new data, solving problems, planning, and problems linked to impulsivity and self-control. 

Some “subclinical” findings such as a change in naming, verbal fluency, and auditory perception are also reported. In the initial stages, attention deficits are the most frequent and severe in the residual stage, usually concerning difficulty sustaining divided attention. 

The long-term memory is usually regained, but some patients maintain challenges in learning new information and remembering it.

What is Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for brain injury

CBT is the therapy used to address emotional disturbances in patients with a TBI. Evidence has shown patients have made the most progress when this type of therapy is incorporated into their treatment plan with the ultimate goal of acclimating back into society. 

CBT addresses defects in attention, memory and functioning. This helps them to be better able to participate in all areas of rehabilitation while in a post acute rehabilitation center. Included are:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Recreational Activities
  • Exercise Programs
  • Nutritional Counseling

Let’s look more closely at how CBT improves cognitive functioning overall. 

 

How Can I Improve My Cognitive Function After Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the most critical elements in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation is cognitive therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy aids people in achieving specific changes or goals, which might include:

  • A way of acting: e.g., smoking less or being more sociable;

  • A way of feeling: e.g., encouraging a person to be less afraid, less depressed, or less worried;

  • A way of thinking: e.g., learning problem resolution or getting rid of self-deprecating feelings;

  • A way of managing physical or medical problems: e.g., reducing back pain or supporting a person in following the doctor’s instructions.

Cognitive Behavior Therapists customarily concentrate more on the present circumstances and their resolution rather than the past. They focus on a person’s viewpoints and beliefs about their life, not on personality characteristics. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy treats patients and their parents, children, life partners, and families. Superseding outdated, ineffective ways of living, with patterns of living that work, and helping patients gain better control over their lives, is the primary goal of cognitive behavior therapy.

Here are three strategies that will allow therapists and caregivers to set the best conditions for cognitive therapy of TBI patients in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation:

Promote Self-Awareness

The treatment of most executive cognitive functions starts with supporting the self-awareness of deficiencies. 

Without recognizing how impairments influence performance, a patient might be resistant to cooperation with therapists on a recovery program.

For instance, it is challenging for the therapist to work on an anger management program or problem-solving strategies with patients who don’t understand that they face these difficulties.

Develop Goals

Goal-setting considerably affects community participation. A patient without goals has trouble making decisions and becoming motivated to overcome the challenges that go with the TBI functional recovery.

For example, when patients are asked to “consider the consequences” of a specific action, You might urge them to examine the result of this action on the outcome of their goals, like independent living, work, academic progress, more satisfying relationships, etc. Absence of goals compromises behavior change, decision-making, and motivation.

Facilitate Problem-Solving Skills

Through functional activities that build self-awareness and self-confidence, patients may re-establish meaningful life roles and an efficient everyday routine, even when confronted with residual deficits. These qualities, in turn, will allow patients to solve their daily problems more effectively and with confidence. 

How Long Will CBT Take After Brain Injury?

Every brain injury is unique so the time one needs to participate in CBT will vary based on the severity of the TBI. Some patients only need a few sessions while others may participate for years. 

Therapists track progress and goals. They may determine milestones such as when a patient is ready to move out of residential and acclimate to home. It is important no patient be rushed and full patience to get the most out of CBT. 

In the therapeutic relationship, it’s crucial to know how to rate activities, strengthen patient’s self-esteem, and promote long-term patient participation in a home setting and the community.

If, after reading this article, you believe a TBI rehab center is the way to go when it comes to your cognitive therapy needs, and you are wondering, “where will I find the best Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?” look no further! 

Learn More About NeuLife Rehabilitation in Florida 

Have your or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for many devastating injuries. 

Our programs for neuro rehab, including cognitive therapy, are customized to meet each patient’s individual needs, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. 

Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we can treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning post-acute brain injury rehabilitation or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us at 800.626.3876 or make a referral today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility.

 The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Is it Possible to Have A Brain Injury Without Even Knowing It?

With most traumatic brain injuries, it is usually evident to the patient or family members. But what about more minor brain injuries (such as a minor stroke) where it’s not immediately apparent that a brain injury has taken place? In other words, is it possible to have a traumatic brain injury without knowing it? 

Even minor brain injuries may require post-acute rehabilitation in order to return the patient to their pre-injury condition. Staff can work with patients through therapy to help patients reduce symptoms and to return to activities of daily living without disruption. 

It’s essential to have a good understanding of brain injuries, symptoms, and recovery so you can support your loved one through the process of healing. 

 

What is the Most Common Mildest Form of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Concussions are usually considered to be a mild brain injury. Sometimes people are unaware they have a head injury. 

Or, maybe they hit their head during a slip or fall. Or perhaps they were in a mild car accident and hit their head.  

Symptoms may be obvious, such as headaches, lack of consciousness, or dizziness, but sometimes they are not. Some more subtle symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Agitation
  • Moodiness
  • Lack of concentration

If any of these symptoms are experienced after a head injury, then it is crucial to be evaluated by a medical provider. 

How long does it take to recover from a concussion? Usually two weeks to 1 month, but in 20% of patients, it can take longer than six weeks. In those cases, rehab for brain injury becomes even more essential for the patient to recover fully. 

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How Can You Tell if You Have Brain Damage?

With brain damage, there is the actual destruction of brain cells. People with brain damage may have severe symptoms. They may have disorientation and not be able to tell you where they are or what the time is. They also may have an inability to process emotions. 

People with brain damage may have balance issues and sensitivity to pain and light. They may have difficulty with communication, including listening and expressing verbally. Brain damage patients may have frequent headaches and extreme mental and physical fatigue. 

In many cases, brain damage is caused by a severe accident, stroke, or another serious medical event. 

 

Can You Have a Brain Injury With No Symptoms?

It is possible to have a brain injury without having symptoms, but they may surface weeks later. The patient may suddenly experience headaches or dizziness, and it is possible not to remember having the injury. 

The patient may also have mental health symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Or be more fatigued. These can also be symptoms of a head injury though you may not relate the symptoms to a head injury. 

 

Is a Head Injury the Same as a Brain Injury?

Both head injury and brain injury are usually terms used when an injury to the head and the brain is involved. Sometimes when the words are used, “brain injury” is used when a more severe injury. Also, we often hear “brain injury” when rehab for brain injury is necessary. 

It is important to know that a brain injury is a more serious problem, and damage to the brain generally requires help at a neuro-rehabilitation center to make a full recovery. A traumatic brain injury may have a permanent effect on the patient’s quality of life, which is not always the case with a head injury. 

That said, there is hope for recovery and improved quality of life with help from a well-trained, compassionate treatment team.

 

Can Someone Fully Recover From Traumatic Brain Injury?

Moderate or severe Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can result in some amount of permanent disability. However, post-acute rehabilitation can help reduce the degree of disability the individual experiences. Patients can also learn to live with the long-term effects and coping mechanisms for success. 

This is where rehabilitation is so important. Not only are the physical challenges overwhelming, but the emotional challenges are tough. Facing the implication and factoring that they may have difficulty “returning to normal” can be devastating for TBI patients and loved ones. 

Neuro Rehab staff helps both patients and family members heal and find hope within this new normal. With the treatment team’s assistance, both patients and staff understand they are not alone in the process and have hope for healing. This is how you can have the best outcome for the patient in the long term. 

 

Where Can I Find a Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?

At NeuLife Rehabilitation Center we are known as one of the best and TBI rehab centers in Florida and throughout the southeast. Our clinicians will treat a wide range of diagnoses with the ultimate goal of helping address physical and emotional implications after brain injury. 

Our facility successfully helps patients through structured programming, including speech, physical therapy, medical care, skills development, nutrition and exercise, and mental health therapies, including CBT. 

We can help patients to get their life back. If you would like more information about our services, do not hesitate to contact us today. Make a referral or give us a call at 800.626.3876.

 

 The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

How Brain Injuries Impact Mental Health

If a loved one has recently had a brain injury, then you may have noticed how the injury has affected their mental health. Recent studies have shown that one out of five patients who have had a brain injury experience an impact on their mental health six months after their injury. 

The brain injury can significantly impact how the patient can express and process their emotions. Mood swings, anxiety, depression, and changes in temperament are all seen among brain injury patients. 

So how does a person with a brain injury heal emotionally from their injury? Time, patience, and rehab for brain injury can help patients improve and return to their pre-accident state. 

This article will address the relation of brain injuries to mental health and how post-acute rehabilitation can heal a patient long term.

 

How Does a Brain Injury Cause Mood Swings?

You might notice that a patient with a brain injury has a change of emotions that seem to swing quickly. They may go from happy to sad to angry, and the feelings may seem quite intense. 

The mood swings are caused by actual damage to the part of the brain that processes emotions. Sometimes there is not even a trigger that causes the patient to experience one emotion then quickly another. 

Often this leaves loved ones hurt or confused but understand that the patient cannot regulate their emotional behavior. The good news is that mood swings usually improve on their own within a few months of a brain injury. 

In rehabilitation, patients learn skills to manage mood swings. Medications also can be prescribed that can help with emotions. 

It can also be helpful for family members to seek therapy on their own to help deal with the stress of the changes in the patient. Through treatment, you can process your own emotions and learn coping skills to help with the stress of having a loved one with a brain injury. 

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How Does a Brain Injury Effect Anger?

It is not unusual for brain injury patients to experience outbursts of anger. The patient may yell, swear, throw things, or threaten harm. 

The cause is also damage to the part of the brain that process emotions. There can also be outside stressors contributing to anger, such as job loss or financial insecurity. 

Patients may also experience depression, changes in sleep, or have difficulty with attention. All of these factors can cause incredible frustration for the patient, increasing feelings of anger. 

Family members can help by understanding the patient does not have complete control over their temperament. It’s best to try not to argue back with the patient and to try to remain calm. Setting healthy boundaries will also help all with managing outbursts. 

 

Why Does a Brain Injury Contribute to Anxiety?

Patients with a brain injury can feel anxious without really knowing why. Sometimes they may fear failure, criticism, feeling rushed, or even be experiencing pain. 

Anxiety can sometimes lead to debilitating panic attacks. Traumatic situations or fear of them occurring keep the patient in a paralyzed mode with the inability to move forward. Because anxiety can be pretty complicated, it is always best managed by a physician or psychiatrist. 

You can help your loved one by reducing outside stressors and by providing reassurance to the patient. Post-acute rehabilitation will help the patient develop healthy routines, start helpful medications, and offer counseling to help them learn control over their anxiety. 

 

Why Does a Brain Injury Contribute to Depression?

Everyone experiences sadness, especially after a serious injury, but if the feeling lasts for a long time or impacts activities of daily living, then the patient may have depression. 

There are several symptoms to look for with depression, including: 

  • Sadness or feeling of low self-worth
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest or in the pleasure of life
  • Feeling unusually tired while awake
  • Thoughts of suicide

The cause of the injury may be brain damage, life changes, environmental factors, or a combination. The physical changes that occur in the brain after brain injury, but the life changes that occur after a disability can also contribute to depression. 

Rehab for brain injury helps the patient heal from depression. The patient may be prescribed medication, participate in therapy, learn new hobbies, exercise, and feed the body good nutrition, all of which help the patient heal. Just like with any treatment, the sooner the patient gets help, the better the outcome. 

 

Where Can I Find More Information about Neuro Rehab Near Me?

NeuLife Rehabilitation Center is one of the best TBI rehab centers in Florida. Our treatment team works with a range of traumatic brain injury diagnoses to ultimately return home to live a whole life. This is accomplished by addressing both the emotional and physical implications of the patient’s brain injury. 

We help your loved one to get their life back. To learn more information about our services, do not hesitate to contact us today. Make a referral or give us a call at 800.626.3876.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.