TBI and weather changes: How seasons affect people with traumatic brain injury

Many individuals are alerted to changing weather by a change in their bodies. Aches, pains, and stiffness can be more reliable indicators of varying weather patterns than a local forecast to determine the Chicago weather. People who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be even more susceptible to weather and changing seasons.

Of the many side effects of a brain injury, recognizing weather changes and regulating the body’s temperature during the seasons can challenge adapting to the seasons, particularly to adverse weather conditions. When a TBI has altered your life or the life of a loved one, speak with a Chicago brain injury lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to ensure adequate compensation for financial support to effectively find ways to manage the challenges that TBI sufferers face.

How weather changes affect people with traumatic brain injury

Our bodies constantly adjust to the temperature changes around us, and we often compensate for these changes with little thought because the brain does the work for us. However, for individuals who suffer from TBI, their body’s ability to regulate effectively can become impaired because of damage to the portions of the brain that regulate the body’s temperature.

Heat sensitivity and TBI

Heat sensitivity can be a common occurrence for people impacted by TBI. During warm summers, an injury-free brain allows the body to regulate successfully. When the brain cannot successfully trigger the regulatory responses in the body to begin cooling effectively, an individual with TBI may experience discomfort and even health complications during warmer seasons.

Warmer weather seasons can complicate cognitive processes, challenging concentration, memory, and information processing. Staying hydrated is essential because dehydration can result in dangerous health outcomes for individuals with TBI. When the part of the brain responsible for feelings of thirst is affected, knowing to drink more water to prevent dehydration can be challenging.

Increased fatigue can result from exposure to heat and the brain trying to respond to temperature changes adequately. Ordinary tasks accomplished can feel overwhelming and exhaustive when the body cannot sufficiently adapt to temperature changes. TBI and weather changes can affect an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks in warmer temperatures.

tbi and weather changes

The body’s extremities and protection from exposure after TBI

Another complication of how weather changes affect people with traumatic brain injury is the ability to recognize the impact of cold temperatures on the body’s extremities. Damage to the part of the brain responsible for managing body temperature can leave the body feeling warmer or colder than it is. When the body feels warmer, its inability to recognize the dangers of hypothermia or frostbite becomes very real.

Medications can increase UV exposure risk

Medications can become vital in the recovery and treatment of symptoms of TBI after a brain injury. But during warmer summer months, when people are more likely to enjoy the benefits of being outside, extended exposure to UV rays when taking these medications can lead to photosensitivity. Photosensiivity is a chemical change in the skin leading to rash, sunburn-like symptoms, and other adverse side effects, and protection against it requires constant consideration.

Using these medications, which often treat depression fter a severe injury, requires an individual to take extra precautions by wearing protective clothing in the sun. Even going out to enjoy the day during hours of heightened exposure can limit an individual’s ability to participate in certain activities, hobbies, and work. And wearing the clothing required to protect against UV exposure can make it challenging for an individual suffering from TBI to regulate the body’s temperature in the heat.

An increased risk of heat stroke

TBI and weather changes can cause individuals to be more susceptible to heat stroke. It can be challenging to differentiate between a body’s erratic response to weather changes and a heat stroke. It is vital to seek immediately to prevent further brain damage if experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling hot or overheated in mildly warm temperatures
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating or sweating too little
  • High body temperature
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness

Heat stroke can produce serious health consequences, and managing the potential for heat stroke is imperative. Learning to live with heat sensitivity after a TBI helps individuals find more effective ways to get out and find more joy in life. Also, recognizing that the signs of TBI can be very similar to other injuries can help individuals seek help quickly when necessary.

Helping TBI victims navigate the legal process

Very often, recovery from a traumatic brain injury depends on an individual’s ability to recover compensation for the damages they have suffered and seek medical treatment. When left untreated, TBIs often grow worse, profoundly affecting the lives of untreated individuals and the people who love them. Contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today for a free case evaluation and begin the road to a successful recovery from a traumatic brain injury.