Can You Reach Full Recovery After a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?November 28, 2017
Mild TBIs can cause physical, emotional and cognitive impairments. While the impacts of mild TBIs may be temporary or fleeting, whether full recovery is possible – and the time it takes to recover as fully as possible – will depend on a various patient-specific factors.
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Factors that Can Impact the Recovery Times & Prognoses for Mild TBIs
TBIs have been likened to snowflakes because of how individualized the impacts of these injuries can be. While most people who suffer mild TBIs will achieve full recovery, two people who sustain the same type of head trauma and suffer similar mild TBIs can recover at vastly different rates.
This is due to a number of factors, like (but not necessarily limited to):
- Age – Patients younger than 40 tend to experience faster recoveries.
- History of concussions or brain injuries – Recoveries for those who have experienced prior concussions or TBIs tend to take longer. This stems from the fact that TBIs, even mild concussions, can have cumulative effects even if symptoms from prior head injuries seem to have disappeared.
- Presence of other medical conditions – Those who have certain health conditions, like a pre-existing hormone, sleep or cognitive disorder, also tend to experience longer recoveries.
- Diagnosis & treatment issues – Mild TBIs can have latent or generic symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. Delays in diagnosing this condition can mean that patients don’t receive prompt or proper treatment until symptoms may have progressed. This can lead to longer recovery times.
- Activity levels – Although rest has traditionally been recommended for TBI patients, new studies have reportedly found that certain types of personalized exercise programs can promote better prognoses and faster recoveries.
- Lifestyle habits – Alcohol and drug use, for instance, can compromise TBI recoveries, even in the case of mild TBIs.
Some More General Facts about TBI Recoveries
- The faster TBIs are diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis and the faster the recovery times are.
- More severe TBIs tend to be associated with worse prognoses and longer recovery times.
- For mild TBIs, the most rapid recovery happens within the first 3 months following the injury.
- When any TBI has been caused by the negligence of someone else – like a drunk or distracted driver, there can be various legal options for financial recovery and justice.
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