Bleeding in the brain or around it is known as brain hemorrhage. It can be caused by several factors including trauma to the head, brain aneurysm, blood vessel abnormalities and untreated hypertension. It can also arise due to liver disease, brain tumors, amyloid angiopathy and coagulopathies. The main symptoms of brain hemorrhage include sudden, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, seizures, numbness/weakness/tingling sensation in arms or legs, poor vision, poor coordination and balance, difficulties in speech and swallowing. Despite being a slow process, recovery is achievable.
Brain Hemorrhage Recovery
This helps to alleviate the pressure in the brain, drain the pooled blood and also stop the bleeding. In some severe cases, the patient is stabilized medically before surgery is considered safe.
There are several types of intracranial hemorrhage surgery procedures:
Craniotomy: In this procedure, a hole is cut or drilled into the skull to help in relieving built-in pressure. The pressure can lead to brain damage if left unattended. A tube may also be placed in the hole to help in draining fluids.
Aneurysm clipping: This is done when aneurysm (weakening of blood vessels) is the cause of bleeding. The blood vessel is clipped around the damaged area to help stop bleeding.
Endovascular coiling: Here stents and coils are used to help stop bleeding caused by a ruptured blood vessel.
To help the patient stay alive and to also allow for the brain hemorrhage recovery process, there is need to stop the bleeding. This can be achieved by use of medications such as:
Anti-hypertension medication to correct high blood pressure
If the patient is on anticoagulants, taking them off the prescription or administering medication that reverses anticoagulant effects
Administering seizure control medications
Giving steroids so as to reduce swelling
Administering stool softeners to help in reducing strain during bowel movement
What Are the Possible Complications?
As noted above, brain hemorrhage can cause permanent and life-threatening damage. This can lead to some disabilities which are influenced by the hemorrhage location within the brain and the extent of the damage. This also influences brain hemorrhage recovery.
Since the brain controls behavior, communication, movement, cognition and sensation, a wide range of complications arise from its hemorrhage. These include:
Shifts in demeanor or personality, for instance being more irritable
Impairment in cognition ability such as:
Difficulties in executive functioning such as decision-making, planning and problem-solving
Challenges in forming new memories including loss of older memories
Inability to learn
Difficulty in focusing, tuning out distraction, multitasking or paying attention
Impairment in communication, such as:
Inability to pronounce words or speak clearly
Challenges in forming a grammatical sentence longer than a few words
Difficulty in understanding others despite not being deaf or having a language barrier
Inability to read
Difficulty in writing
Shifts in movement or sensation, such as:
Having moments of paresthesia
One or more body parts becomes numb, mostly one side of the body
Paresis or where one or more body parts become weak, mostly one side of the body
The limbs becoming partially or completely paralyzed
Difficulties with gross motor activities such as standing, using stairs, sitting upright or walking
Difficulties in using the hands for fine motor activities such as buttoning a shirt, writing or using utensils
Dysphagia which is trouble in swallowing
Visual or hearing impairment
Having breathing difficulties
How to Prevent the Risks of Brain Hemorrhage
Since there are several risk factors associated with brain hemorrhage, you can reduce the risk by taking good care of your health. Besides minimizing the risk, you can also embark on a brain hemorrhage recovery journey by following some practices.
Hypertension has been linked to blood hemorrhage in various medical studies. Reducing your risks of contracting it lowers the risk of getting brain hemorrhage.
Avoid smoking because smoking increases the chances of other complications and also indirectly affects the brain.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption because alcohol as well as using some drugs can harm the brain.
Whenever you are driving, always wear your seat belt. Also wear a helmet while bike riding. These practices can help prevent brain injury.
If you suspect some problem in your brain, get a full brain scan to become more aware of your particular problem. You may get a surgeon to guide you through the diagnosis. Note that conditions like aneurysm can be surgically treated.
With increased advancements in neurosurgery, more intensive research is being undertaken with the aim of coming up with a medical treatment for people with brain hemorrhage. The recovery path maybe slow and require a lot of patience; but with a good medical team as well as support from family and friends, the process of recovery can be speeded up.