Experiencing an accident or medical issue involving your head is always frightening. There are many kinds of brain injury, each with different levels of severity.
One important distinction you should consider when discussing brain injuries is traumatic vs. non-traumatic injuries.
Non-traumatic brain injuries
Non-traumatic brain injuries occur internally rather than after an external impact. Medical issues such as a tumor or stroke may cause them. Additionally, accidents such as electrocution, oxygen deprivation or exposure to a dangerous toxin such as carbon monoxide can also lead to non-traumatic brain injuries.
People may refer to non-traumatic brain injuries as ABIs or acquired brain injuries. While the term ABI can technically refer to any brain injury that happens after a person is born, it is more frequently used to describe non-traumatic injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur from an external force coming into contact with the head. Common causes include accidents related to a car crash, sports injury, physical assault or fall. Damage may or may not be visible from the surface of the head.
Some examples of specific types of non-traumatic brain injuries are the following:
- Skull Fracture
- Blood pooling in the brain (hematoma)
- Swelling of the brain (cerebral edema)
The long-term health consequences of both traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries vary case by case. In some cases, the injured person may make a full recovery whereas in others lasting disability may occur. If you or a loved one experienced an injury, your doctor can advise you on the proper steps to take.