Brain injuries are not simple injuries. They can take a significant time to heal. People with brain injuries may literally recover for the rest of their lives.
The reason that this kind of injury is so significant is because of how much of the brain can be affected and how the brain heals. When the cells of the brain die, they can no longer communicate. With poor communication, the patient sees a loss of many abilities they had in the past. For instance, damage to the occipital lobe may change the way the brain processes sight. The patient may lose their sight completely.
There are mild, moderate and severe brain injuries
Mild, moderate and severe (acute) injuries affect patients differently. Acute injuries are the most serious, and they have the potential to cause longer-lasting effects. Some symptoms of brain injuries worsen based on the grade of the injury. Common symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory problems
- Mood changes
- Trouble waking up
- Profound confusion
…and many others.
How long does it take to recover from a brain injury?
Many patients see healing begin right away. For example, a patient who struggles to talk during the first week of the injury might find it easier to do each week thereafter until healed. Physical disabilities caused by brain injuries, like trouble with walking or holding items, usually resolve within 12 months.
No two patients are alike, so it’s impossible to say what the timeline will be for your loved one’s recovery. Some people recover quickly due to the location of the injury, while others take many years to get to a stable point of functionality.
There are complications that can arise from brain injuries such as brain death, vegetative states and comas. These usually occur only in the most severe cases. Of all of these complications, the only complication that is considered to be irreversible is brain death.
Brain death is when there is no measurable activity in the brain or brainstem. Essentially, the patient has no brain activity. With no activity, it is usually assumed that the patient is deceased, even if the body continues to work with supportive equipment.
Brain injuries often last a significant amount of time, so it’s important for patients to continue seeking the medical care they need for as long as they need it. Don’t rush your recovery.