Varsha might report visualdisturbances due to a concussion or otherwise known as mild traumatic braininjury (TBI).
A concussion is a brain injury which may affect the function ofthe brain. It could either be minor or major and are usually caused by aforceful “blow to the head” from striking an object. As Varsha was not wearinga helmet, when a hockey stick suddenly struck her head, it may have caused thehead to snap forward, back or to the side.
The brain is surrounded bycerebrospinal fluid so when the head snaps, to either three directions, thesudden momentum causes movement of the brain within the skull which usuallyleads to an alteration of brain function. This causes concussion signs andsymptoms. Usually the cerebrospinal fluid cushions the brain and protects itfrom contacting the walls of the skull during every day activity. By this the axonsof the neurones in the brain are protected.
When a person suffers a hard blowto the head, the brain becomes in contact with the insides of the skull andthis may result in damaged axons. This may reduce normal brain function byinterrupting communication between neurones. Symptoms of concussion can be physical, cognitive or emotional. Physicalsymptoms include dizziness, cognitive symptoms include memory loss andemotional symptoms include signs of depression.
Symptoms of visual disturbancessuch as: blurred vision, headaches, double vision and visual field loss alsotie in with physical and cognitive symptoms and could be a result of theoccipital lobe being affected. The two main areas of the brain that areaffected the most in Varsha as a result of a concussion are the frontal andtemporal lobes as she was hit on her forehead. This is because these two partsof the brain are naturally positioned closest to the skull. In addition, theneck is positioned posteriorly so when the head rotates the front of the headmoves further than the rest of the head. As a result of the frontal andtemporal lobes moving at greater distances, more damage is done to theseparticular areas of the brain. The frontal lobe, which is positioned in thefront of the brain, controls one’s personality features.
It influencescognitive functions such as organising and planning. The temporal lobe, whichis positioned in the lower central part of the cortex underneath the temples,is involved in memory and language. If the temporal lobe is damaged memoryfunctions can be impacted and may even have a permanent effect is the injury issevere enough. Memory functions include verbal memory in the left hemisphereand visual memory in the right hemisphere. Hence other symptoms Varsha mightexhibit include inability to focus and concentrate due to the frontal lobebeing affected; constant headaches also due to the frontal lobe being affectedand memory loss due to the temporal lobe being affected. It could be apossibility that Varsha suffered a coup-contrecoup injury. A coup-contrecoupinjury is damage to the brain on opposite sides.
The site that she receivedinitial impact was the forehead so the frontal and temporal lobes were impacted.The opposite side (rear portion of the skull) may have also been impacted andthe occipital lobe is located at the back of the skull. As Varsha sufferedvisual disturbances, it suggests that the occipital lobe was also affected as aresult of the injury.