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If you have a loved one who is currently in a coma or is at risk of sliding into one, you may wonder what happens during a coma. Learning what a coma patient may go through will help you figure out how to best care for them.
This article will cover in detail what’s it like to be in a coma and answer questions like “Do people dream in comas?”
Q: What Is a Coma?
A: A coma is defined as an extended period of unconsciousness. A person in a coma is unresponsive to their surroundings. The person is awake yet appears to be sleeping. However, unlike in deep sleep, no stimulation, including pain, may wake the person up.
Q: What Leads To a Coma?
A: Brain damage is the most common cause of comas. Increased pressure, haemorrhage, oxygen deprivation, or toxin build-up can all cause brain damage. Temporary or permanent injuries are possible.
More than half of all comas are caused by head trauma or problems with the brain’s circulatory system.
Q: How Does It Feel To Be in a Coma?
A: A coma is comparable to a dream because the patient is still alive, but he or she is not aware. When there is little to no brain activity, a coma occurs. Touch, music, and other stimuli do not affect the patient. A person in a coma is also unlikely to cough, sneeze, or interact in any manner. Some people in a coma can breathe on their own, but for the most part, they need the assistance of a machine to do so.
Do People Dream in a Coma?
A: Many people who have woken up from comas have reported having dreams in which they saw something from the outer world. Others have had dreams that seemed to stretch on and on.
A person’s ability to dream is most likely determined by the underlying medical condition that put them in a coma. It is impossible to remember visual dreams if the visual brain has been severely injured, and it is impossible to hear voices in dreams if the auditory cortex has been severely damaged. Normally occurring dreams will not be possible in the event of damage to the reticular activating system, which is responsible for controlling the sleep-wakefulness cycle, although other dream-like states might.
Q: Can You Hear in a Coma?
A: Individuals who are unconscious during comas cannot respond to any sounds. It’s possible, though, that the brain can still detect the voices of loved ones. Some studies have shown that speaking and touching a loved one while they are in a coma may aid their recovery.
With that said, what happens in a coma differs from patient to patient. People in comas say they may recall specific things that happened while they were asleep, but many others say they have no recollection of their time there.
Q: How Long Can You Be in a Coma?
A: A coma usually lasts no longer than a few weeks. However, sometimes a person remains in a coma for a long period — even years — and is only able to breathe on his or her own.
Q: What Happens After a Coma?
A: The majority of people wake up from their comas. Some of them can resume their previous lives before being ill. The extent to which someone recovers from a coma is determined by the cause of the coma and the extent to which the brain has been damaged. People who recover from comas are sometimes the same as they were before the coma; they recall what happened before the coma and can do everything they could do before. Others may require therapy to relearn basic skills.
Some people who have been in a coma for an extended period go into a vegetative condition or die. While some coma survivors may be left with substantial or mild disabilities.
Q: Is There an Effective Coma Treatment?
The treatment for a coma is determined by the cause. Those who are close to the comatose patient must provide the medical team with as much information as possible to aid in the investigation into the causes of the condition. Treating potentially reversible diseases requires prompt medical care. Antibiotics may be required if a brain infection exists. If a diabetic shock occurs, glucose may be necessary. Surgeons may be required to remove a tumor or relieve pressure on the brain caused by swelling.
People who are in a coma are cared for in an intensive care unit, and they may require complete life support until their condition improves.
For Those With a Loved One in a Coma
A coma is a serious medical condition. To save life and brain function, quick action is required. Contact us at All American Hospice today to learn more about what your loved one might go through if they slip into a coma. Our hospice care specialists can answer your questions and educate you about the entire process.