All posts by redcastle

Why Patients Have Balance Problems After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Balance concerns can challenge both the patient and caregivers after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over half of TBI patients experience some level of dizziness or balance concerns. 

Some patients feel like they might faint, that their surroundings are moving even though they are standing still, or feel light-headed. 

Many factors determine the severity of balance problems, including injury severity, part of the brain-damaged, or medications. Other patients, such as those injured in a car accident, may have balance issues due to other injuries the body has sustained. 

 

What is the Importance of Balance for TBI Patients?

The most significant reason balance is concerning for TBI patients is because of the risk of falls. Older patients may already have difficulties with balance, even without a TBI. Add in a brain injury, and their risk of falls significantly increases. 

Falls are concerning because they can cause injuries that may delay recovery and rehabilitation. Some patients even have a second TBI resulting in second impact syndrome

 

Why is second impact syndrome a concern? It can result in cerebral swelling, brain herniation, and even death. 

Also, balance is essential for a patient to be able to participate in daily life. Balance can affect sitting, standing, walking, and self-care. Some patients have challenges with bathing, using the toilet, and the ability to dress. 

 

How Do Providers Diagnose Balance Problems?

Professionals at post-acute rehabilitation centers are specialists in diagnosing balance concerns after a TBI. Doctors who focus on the nervous system and the brain can usually quickly identify the issue to develop a treatment plan as soon as possible to reduce the risk of falls. 

A team approach is the best approach! Physical therapists are key for identifying and rehabilitating patients who have had a TBI. 

Occupational therapists also use balance tests to specify the severity of balance issues and provide interventions to reduce the risk of falls. Other staff are educated on patients’ individual needs regarding balance issues so they may safely help patients who are in recovery. 

 

What Can Treatment Providers do to Help Patients with Balance Problems?

The treatment team can use several interventions to help patients with balance problems, including: 

  • Determine their balance limits. Safely working with a therapist can teach movements to help with transitioning positions, such as sitting to standing.
  • Sit at a level that is safe, not too high, or too low.
  • Therapy can help to teach patients how to safely stand, reach objects at a high level correctly, or pick something down on the floor if dropped.
  • Patients can work with a physical therapist on strength and flexibility in their lower body. Improved strength decreases the risk of falls. 
  • Practice standing and walking in a safe environment. One exercise includes practicing standing with your eyes closed, so you decrease dependence on vision. Patients practice bringing feet together and apart or practice standing on one leg with the help of a therapist. 
  • Walking in a safe environment can also be beneficial. Patients can build up the length of time they walk and distance as they improve. 

It is important to remember every patient is different. Some have relief of balance problems soon after starting a program, while it can take months or even years for others. 

Continuing to work on a program is important for both short-term and long-term recovery. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have patience while your loved one is working to rebuild and restore balance problems. 

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Finding the Best Help for Inpatient Neuro Rehab Near Me

Neulife specializes in the treatment of TBI patients and the many symptoms they experience. Through a safe and specialized approach, they can help patients with their symptoms, such as balance. 

The program at Neulife focuses on the needs of every patient and their family. Our rehabilitation for brain injury includes clinical evaluations, medical care, and therapeutic activities, all customized to meet each patient’s goals, needs, and abilities. 

Every component of the treatment plan is customized to the individual patient for guaranteed results so patients can transition home safely.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour around our modern, beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, patient-friendly facility, please do contact us – we are looking forward to seeing you!

 

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.

Why a Traumatic Brain Injury can Cause Foreign Accent Syndrome

Some patients with a traumatic brain injury can develop a mysterious syndrome known as foreign accent syndrome (FAS). Patients have a sudden change in speech where they begin to speak with a “foreign accent.” The cause is often a traumatic brain injury caused by a stroke but can also occur from other neurological disorders.

 

What Causes Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Commonly caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI), other disorders such as multiple sclerosis and conversion disorder may cause the syndrome. Conversion disorder is a neurological condition where a person can have symptoms including: 

  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Other nervous symptoms not explained by a medical evaluation

The cause is lesions in the dominant parts of the brain that impact normal phonetic speech. Pronunciation can be perceived as a foreign accent. 

 

How Does Foreign Accent Present in Patients with a TBI?

Patients with FAS have altered speech. Their timing, intonation, and tongue placement may make others perceive that they are speaking a foreign language. Other areas of speech may remain intact. 

It is a rare disorder with only 100 reported cases since first discovered in the 1940s. Yet, there have been documented cases across the world. Some examples of accent changes include:

  • American accent to a British accent
  • A Japanese accent to a Korean accent
  • British accent to a French accent
  • Spanish accent to a Hungarian accent

 

 

What are the common Speech Changes Associated with Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Some speech changes are commonly associated with FAS. Patients have predictable errors in speech. They may have voicing errors such as saying “bike” for “pike.” They may insert “uh” in between words spoken. 

Some patients have vowel distortions or consonant clusters where vowels are excluded from the words spoken. Or they have consonant substitution, deletion, or distortion. 

Often the errors in speech become predictable with time, so speech therapists can work with patients to correct the errors in speech.

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How Rehabilitation for Brain Injury Can Help Treat Foreign Accent Syndrome

If you are searching for neurorehabilitation near me in Florida or the Southeast, then consider Neulife for the care of your loved ones. 

NeuLife knows every injury is different and comes with its own unique set of symptoms. Every patient has their own set of challenges. When it comes to FAS, we have a team who can help treat the symptoms and restore speech to as normal as possible. 

Our experience and knowledge in treating TBIs are the force behind the individualized care we provide to our patients. 

The center offers a full spectrum of services for patients who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, and brain injuries due to stroke. 

The program at Neulife will address the specific needs of every patient and their family. The team focuses on maximizing the potential of patients to gain ability, mobility, and improved speech.

If your loved one requires a post-acute rehabilitation center after a TBI, schedule a tour around our modern, patient-friendly facility. We look forward to seeing you soon! We are also always happy to answer questions so, please reach out to us at 1-888-626-3876.

 

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 Memory is Affected by a Traumatic Brain Injury

When you hear the word brain injury, you might associate it with memory loss. Problems with memory are common, especially in patients who have had a moderate to severe brain injury. 

The cause of memory loss is closely related to the area of the brain that is injured. Damage to the part of the brain that affects memory can affect patients differently depending on the location of the brain involved. 

Some patients have difficulty with learning new tasks or remembering specific skills. It may affect short-term memory, while with others, it impacts long-term memory.

Patients can struggle with remembering what they need to do in the future, such as keeping appointments, paying bills, or keeping commitments. 

Sometimes the patient may not even remember the event that caused the injury in the first place. But there is some good news: At the right post-acute rehabilitation center, patients can learn to cope with memory problems and learn different ways to improve their memory.

 

How a Brain Injury Affects Short and Long Term Memory

Patients with a TBI usually don’t forget everything from their past. Contrary to what we think of when we hear amnesia, it is unusual for patients to have no memory of their history. 

Often patients can remember certain things from the past, including what they accomplished early in life (long-term memories). But learning new skills, tasks and retaining further information can be a challenge (short-term memories). 

Common short term memory problems can include: 

  • Details about conversations
  • Forgetting where items are left, such as keys or their cell phone
  • Not remembering what was said today or even last week leading them to ask the same questions or tell the same story frequently
  • Not knowing what time it is or the day of the week
  • Not remembering what they watched on T.V or read in a book

 

How Can Memory Be Improved in Patients with a TBI?

Compensatory strategies are often the best way to improve memory problems at present and in the future. Medications may be helpful but cannot replace good traumatic brain injury rehabilitation

Compensatory strategies involve:

  • Using memory tasks such as making lists.
  • Writing in a notebook.
  • Remembering to set the alarm on your cell phone. 

Other compensatory strategies include: 

  • Slowing down and repeating information to the patient understands
  • Limiting distractions 
  • Allow time to practice and repeat activities to strengthen memory
  • Help the patient through the use of organizers, calendars, or notebooks to write down important information such as appointments
  • Use of pillboxes to help to remember to take medication
  • Creating a “memory station” where the patient always keeps essential items such as key, their cell phone or wallet
  • Encouraging the use of checklists where activities can be crossed off once completed 

Having a family member to help patients implement these strategies at home is important, especially when transitioning home after acute rehabilitation. You’ll see improvement in the patient’s memory skills with time as long as they are encouraged to practice strategies regularly. 

 

But what if the memory loss is severe and a higher level of care is needed for the patient?

That is when you need to seek the best in neurological rehabilitation treatment. 

 

Finding the Best Inpatient Neuro Rehab Near Me

Neulife understands that every injury is different, and every patient has unique memory challenges. That is why we use an individualized approach for our patients. 

Our program addresses the specific needs of each patient and their family. We incorporate memory exercises and strategies into the patient’s treatment plan to maximize their ability to heal from memory loss. 

Our brain injury rehabilitation program includes clinical evaluations, medical care, and therapeutic activities customized to meet each patient’s goals, needs, and abilities. 

By leveraging various rehabilitation services, we can create an integrated approach focused on helping each patient recover skills associated with activities of daily living (ADLs) using compensatory strategies and mobility aids to achieve a seamless transition back home.

Every component of the treatment plan is customized to the individual patient for guaranteed results.

If you have any questions at all please do contact us. You can also schedule a tour around our modern, patient-friendly facility. We are looking forward to seeing you! 

 

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 can Traumatic Brain Injury Affect our Sense of Smell and Taste?

If you wonder if a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect smell and taste, the answer is yes. For many people, this is an alarming prospect, because smell and taste are important senses in our lives. But for those who suffer a TBI, the loss of these senses is a real phenomenon.

 

What is the Importance of Smell and Taste?

Not only does smell and taste add to our enjoyment of food, but it is also part of our wider sensory system.

You may not think of it, but senses can also warn us of danger. Smell can alert us of smoke, so we know a fire is near. Taste can warn us that certain drinks may be harmful to intake. 

Smell and taste can also be tied to emotional responses. They may bring back memories such as smelling homemade cookies made by your mother or the taste of pumpkin lattes enjoyed by so many every fall. 

 

What Causes a Loss of Smell and Taste in Brain Injury Patients?

When we breathe, air enters the nose, which triggers nerves, bringing information to the brain. This information is fed to the part of the brain that processes smell.

Brain injury patients can have an injury to the nerves that feed information to the brain to process the sense of smell, or there can be harm to the area of the brain that processes the information. 

Smell and taste overlap when it comes to the sensory system. The flavor we taste comes from the nose as the same nerves are triggered. For example, taste receptors on the tongue work with the nerves in the nose to give us the experience of the flavor of the food we eat.

Smell and taste loss can be noted very soon after a TBI. Slowly over time, patients may notice an improvement. If it is not improving, neurologists or Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors can help patients develop a treatment plan. 

 

How Does Loss of Smell and Taste Impact Daily Life?

Loss of smell and taste can lead to a decrease in appetite. Not only can lead to weight loss, but it also means patients may not be getting essential nutrients needed from food. 

On the other hand, some patients experience weight gain because they do not feel satisfied and continue to eat, looking for that satisfaction they used to get from their favorite foods. Patients also sometimes add salt, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure if used in excess. 

Loss of smell can also affect hygiene. Sometimes TBI patients forget to shower or change clothes. Without smell, they may not notice if they have body odor that may indicate it is time to take care of hygiene needs. 

 

What Can I Do to Help With Symptoms?

Providers at brain injury residential facilities recommend some of the following suggestions to help with loss of smell and taste: 

  • Cook with spices for strong flavor
  • You may want to choose foods that are salty, sweet, or sour
  • Foods with texture or crunch may be more enjoyable
  • Consider vitamins and supplements if you have a decreased intake of food
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working condition at all times
  • Consider using a high-quality natural gas detector that gives a warning if there is a leak
  • With household cleaners, wear a mask or make sure the area is ventilated 

 

Can Post Acute Rehabilitation Help My Symptoms?

Recovery can happen, and symptoms can get better over time. Though inpatient neuro rehab centers may not restore your senses immediately, they can develop a treatment plan that may help over time. It is also important to note that they can help TBI patients with the frustrations and grief accompanying symptoms of a TBI. 

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Are you searching for an inpatient neuro rehab near me 

At NeuLife, we know that every injury is different, and each patient faces their own set of challenges.  

Our comprehensive program addresses the specific needs of each patient and family. The team focuses on maximizing abilities, providing education, increasing mobility, and preventing complications. Our brain injury rehabilitation program includes clinical evaluations, medical care, and therapeutic activities customized to meet each patient’s goals, needs, and abilities. 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour around our modern, beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, patient-friendly facility, please do contact us – we are looking forward to seeing you!

 

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.

 

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.