Common causes of brain injury and 6 tips to prevent it

A brain injury is any injury to the brain that affects a person physically, emotionally or behaviorally. Brain injuries can happen at birth or may arise later from trauma or an illness. Depending on the cause, a brain injury is called either traumatic or non-traumatic.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries do not always include an open head wound or skull fracture. Loss of consciousness may not occur, either, but the one thing that all traumatic brain injuries have in common is contact. These are the most common causes of a traumatic brain injury (TBI):

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Violence or gunshot wound
  • Military attack or bomb blast

Causes of Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

A non-traumatic brain injury may also be called an acquired brain injury (ABI). This type of brain injury is the result of an illness or condition within the body, not of a blow to the head. These are the most common causes of a non-traumatic brain injury:

  • Stroke (leading cause)
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Tumors
  • Other illness such as cancer
  • Brain infections or inflammation
  • Other infections

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

According to NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center, common symptoms of traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury include:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty coordinating balance
  • Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Other milder vision problems
  • Seizures
  • Changes in sensory perception
  • Trouble speaking and swallowing
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty forming sentences or choosing vocabulary
  • Confusion
  • Trouble communicating
  • Difficulty with reasoning, focus and logic
  • Memory impairments

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center advises you to follow these steps to reduce the risk of brain injury

1. Wear your seat belt

NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center specialists report that most of the clients they treat were injured in motor-vehicle accidents. Seat belts reduce serious injuries and deaths from crashes by about 50%.

  • Always wear a seat belt each time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  • A child should sit in the back seat of the car and be buckled in with a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight and age).

2. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Alcohol and drugs, including prescription medications, can impair a person’s ability to drive. Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in about one in three crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths annually.

3. Don’t text or use a cell phone while driving

Cell phones are the No. 1 source of driver distraction. Using a mobile device while driving is similar to having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of 0.08, according to research from the University of Utah. Statistics show that drivers who talk on cell phones or text while driving are four times as likely to get into a car crash serious enough to injure themselves.

4. Wear a helmet

Adults and children should wear a helmet and protective gear when participating in sports and recreational activities. Always wear a helmet when:

  • Riding a bike, motorcycle or skateboard
  • Skiing, snowboarding or using inline skates
  • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey or boxing
  • Playing baseball or softball

5. Prevent falls at home

The chances of falling can be reduced in older adults by doing the following:

  • Installing handrails in bathrooms and on both sides of a stairway
  • Removing tripping hazards, such as throw rugs and clutter
  • Improving lighting throughout the house or apartment
  • Maintaining regular activity and mobility in older adults
  • Using non-slip mats in the bathtub or on the shower floor
  • Getting regular eye exams

6. Prevent head injuries in children

Head injuries can be prevented in children by:

  • Installing window guards to prevent falls out of open windows
  • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Keeping stairs clear of clutter
  • Using playgrounds with shock-absorbing materials on the ground

Want to learn more about NeuLife brain injury rehabilitation center?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. Its program includes 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, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.


Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
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