Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the head has been struck or shaken forcefully. The result of the injury can be a change in behavior of the person affected.
A TBI can occur in the military due to combat, vehicle accidents, or Improvised Explosive Devices (IDEs). Outside of the military, they can occur from vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and falls.
Traumatic brain injuries can affect:
* the ability to pay attention
* problem solving
* abstract thought
* memory and concentration
* the ability to learn
* hearing and vision
People suffering from TBI may have difficulty speaking, hearing, seeing, or using other senses. They often suffer from headaches and fatigue. Writing or drawing are also skills that may suffer as a result of TBI. Some of the more serious effects are difficulty with muscles spontaneously tightening and seizures. Motor skills and balance are also sometimes affected. More serious cases involve partial paralysis. There is no one symptom that any particular sufferer of TBI may suffer from. It depends upon the extent of the brain injury.
Pulmonary hypertension can affect those who are in the military and civilian life. The pulmonary system is responsible for transporting blood from the heart to the lungs. This is in contrast to systemic hypertension, which is not body part specific.
The result of pulmonary hypertension is that the blood vessels constrict, making the heart work much harder to pump the same amount of blood. The end result may be heart pain, heart attack, or stroke.
Treatment involves the use of medications that lower cholesterol or thin the blood. Exercise is often employed to strengthen the heart and bring weight back down to a healthy level.
The prognosis for pulmonary hypertension is often quite good, provided the patient follows the doctor's orders and maintains their weight at a proper level.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a disease caused by asbestos exposure. This toxic material once saw widespread usage in the military and civilian life. Although it is no longer used, it is still present in some older buildings.
Mesothelioma occurs as a result of exposure to asbestos -- particularly when the fibers are inhaled into the lungs. It causes a swelling of the area surrounding the lungs. The condition is usually fatal, with treatment focusing on keeping patients comfortable (What is mesothelioma?).
Stress is a common factor in many diseases and disease processes. It can cause symptoms like difficulty sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, difficulty with moods, and problems with learning.
Treatment for stress depends upon the extent of the stress reaction and the symptoms that are being manifested. If the symptoms involve difficulty sleeping, medication may be prescribed. Sometimes counseling is an effective solution for recurring stress.
Stress can also cause problems with work and relationships. It may be further aggravated by people's individual response to the stress. For example, some people cope with stress by turning to alcohol or drugs. In this case, additional substance abuse treatment may be required.