Brain swelling: What are the potential effects?

Brain swelling is considered dangerous since it is enclosed by the skull. If the brain starts to swell, further damage occurs than in other body parts due to the limited space available for the swelling to spread.

The swelling and increasing intracranial pressure is medically called as edema. The effects of brain swelling can result to both brief and lasting changes that can lead to significant alterations in the quality of life.

What are the potential causes of brain swelling?

The brain might be damaged and become swollen due to various causes. The usual causes range from:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Tumors
  • Infections
    brain-swelling

    The effects of brain swelling can result to both brief and lasting changes that can lead to significant alterations in the quality of life.

  • High altitudes

Once the brain tissue swells, it crushes the remaining parts of the brain against the skull wall. The elevated pressure causes further damage by lowering the availability of blood supply to the crushed tissues.

The weight of the brain tissue might hinder the supply of cerebral spinal fluid. If this fluid could not leave the brain, the pressure escalates and results to further tissue damage.

What are the immediate signs?

The common signs of mild brain swelling generally include:

  • Mild confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Spinning sensation

These momentary changes in function occur without damage to the brain if there is a mild injury. In severe injuries, the brain has more swelling and tissue damage.

What are the lasting effects?

The lasting effects of brain swelling might include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Poor memory
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Take note that these symptoms are often referred to as post-concussion syndrome and might linger for several months or years depending on the extent of the injury.

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