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5 ways a brain injury affects you in the long-term

The last thing you remember is being struck from the side by a large vehicle. You wake up in a hospital, and you try to talk to those around you. The words come out slow, and you struggle to understand what they're telling you. You have a brain injury, and your life has changed significantly.

Brain injuries affect you in a number of ways. Here are five that you need to consider.

1. Your mood and behavior changes

Not everyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury has changes in their mood or behaviors, but many do. Some people have a complete change of personality, while others suffer from anxiety or depression related to the car accident. It is hard for families who grew up with an individual to find that his or her personality has changed completely, but that does happen. Usually, it's a good idea to go to group therapy to work though these changes. It's possible that a person who has suffered these traumatic injuries will never be exactly as he or she once was.

2. You struggle with your memory or cognitive abilities

Whether it's forgetting your child's birthday, not understanding basic math or speaking slower than you'd like, a brain injury has the potential to change your memory and cognitive abilities.

3. You may have poor vision or changes in your vision

A loss of vision or blurred field of vision isn't uncommon if you hit your head and suffer a brain injury. Sometimes, those impacted in a car accident lose the ability to track visual materials or lose part of their vision. Reduced depth perception is also common.

4. Your hearing could change

Depending on how you hit your head or are impacted in a car crash, you may find that your hearing changes. Some people lose their ability to hear completely, while others hear unusual sounds or perceive sound differently.

5. You face seizures

While seizures aren't particularly common after a brain injury, a small percent of people do suffer from them following a TBI. Usually, you'll know if you're affected by this issue because you'll suffer from seizures soon after the initial injury. Sometimes, it takes several years before seizures occur, though.

There are two kinds of seizures you coul d suffer from including grand mal and local motor seizures. Both have the potential to impact your daily life, so taking anticonvulsants may be necessary.

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