When an injury to the brain occurs, distinct scents like those of garlic and cinnamon may not smell like anything, and a sugary beverage might end up tasting just like water.
These are a few of the symptoms that volunteers from the Brain Injury Association of Windsor and Essex County are mimicking during Brain Injury Awareness month. On Saturday and Sunday, volunteers from the association will be at a booth in Devonshire Mall to teach people about brain injuries by inviting them to participate in activities that demonstrate how one’s senses, balance and memory can be affected.
“By doing these demonstrations, people can see the difficulties that someone with a brain injury would have,” said volunteer Kate Turner. “It doesn’t just impact certain activities, it’s really the everyday things that people take for granted.”
Acquired brain injuries often happen from falls or car accidents, with symptoms dependent on the part of the brain that is affected. Traumatic injuries are the result of physically hitting the head, such as what would happen during an accident, while a non-traumatic injury is caused by internal damage to the brain, possibly from an infection, stroke or tumour.
According to the Brain Injury Association of Windsor and Essex County, there are 490 people in Windsor-Essex who will experience a life-altering brain injury and an additional 145 who won’t survive.
Each year within the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, about 770 people suffer from a mild traumatic brain injury. Turner said people with a mild brain injury often don’t even realize that they have one.
“If you don’t get proper treatment and you do continue to exert yourself, the brain injury can actually get worse and can have more of a severe impact on your life,” Turner said.
Unlike most injuries, those to the brain can go unnoticed. To learn more about how to prevent them and for recovery resources, visit the association’s booth this weekend or go online at biawe.com.