Published On: Tue, Sep 15th, 2020

What Happens When the Temporal Lobe Is Damaged?

The temporal lobes are located at the bottom and at the sides of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. They are primarily responsible for organizing sensory input that comes from the eyes and ears. When they are damaged, it can cause memory impairment, personality changes, and disturbances in visual input and auditory perception.

Traumatic brain injuries, including temporal lobe brain injury, are a leading cause of disability in people under the age of 40, and they lead to severe disability in an estimated 200 people per million every year, according to statistics provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). 

As such, it is important to recognize what temporal lobe injuries are, how to identify them, how they can occur, and how to prevent them. This article will cover all of these topics and more.

Temporal Lobe Damage: What You Need to Know

Before we discuss prevention, let’s go over the basics of temporal lobe damage. This includes the causes, the effects, and the treatment options.

The Causes of Temporal Lobe Damage

The most common cause of temporal lobe damage is falls, which disproportionately affect babies, young children, and the elderly. Temporal lobe damage often results from vehicular accidents, and trauma sustained from sports. Violence is another common cause of this type of brain damage, including intentional self-harm and suicide attempts.

What Happens When Your Temporal Lobe Is Damaged

Damage to the temporal lobes can result in disrupted auditory sensation and perception, as well as an inability of the patient to pay attention to what they see or hear. Memory skills and language comprehension can also be affected, and serious damage to the lobes can result in loss of long-term memory, anxiety, emotional imbalances, and sexual dysfunction.

Injuries to the left side of the brain can result in an inability to recall verbal and visual content, including speech and the ability to recognize faces. Injuries to the right side of the brain can result in an inability to recognize different aspects of sound, such as pitch and tone.

Seizures are not uncommon in serious cases of temporal lobe damage, and seizures can have pronounced effects on a person’s behavior and personality. Seizures can cause speech problems, paranoia, and even aggressive rages.

Temporal Lobe Damage Treatments

To test for temporal lobe function, doctors may test the patient’s visual memory using the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test or the Wechsler Memory Scale to test verbal memory. You will also receive a neurological exam, and doctors may order a brain scan to get images of your brain. 

You may be prescribed medicine to help control your temporal lobe seizures. Surgery is another option that may be available to you, and neurostimulation may also be beneficial. You also may be prescribed a special diet. 

How Temporal Lobe Damage Can Be Prevented

Depending on the activity in which you are participating, or the setting in which you or your loved ones live, there are different things you can do to prevent traumatic brain injuries and injuries to the temporal lobes.

  • When riding in a car, always use seatbelts, and have appropriate child safety seats or boosters as necessary. 
  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and wear a helmet if riding a bike, a motorcycle, or other open or unrestrained vehicles. 
  • Helmets should be used when participating in contact sports as well as other physical sports such as skiing, skating, or horseback riding.
  • Make sure there is adequate lighting around your home or workplace, especially in places such as stairwells. 
  • Bars can be placed on windows to prevent children from falling out.
  • Always maintain cleared pathways wherever you live or work.
  • When it comes to gun safety, always have your guns locked away in a safe cabinet, and make sure to store your weapons unloaded and separate from your ammunition.

When it comes to temporal lobe damage, an ounce of prevention is worth 100 pounds of cure.  Following these simple steps can help prevent a life-altering temporal lobe injury in your or your loved ones.

If it’s too late for prevention and the worst has already happened, you may want to seek lawyers that provide free consultations if the brain injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence. Getting treatment for temporal lobe damage is expensive, and you may also end up with caregiver expenses. A settlement can help you cover your costs.

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