People who suffer from traumatic brain injury may experience confusion, headache, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, personality changes, and depression. TBIs can be mild or severe and temporary or permanent. These injuries often result from a severe blow to the head or an object penetrating the skull and damaging the brain. The brain is the control center for the body, and impacts on this area will affect various functions. Generally, TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, and severe based on the degree of brain trauma. The severity is determined by three factors: duration of the injury, fluctuation in brain activity before and after injury, and underlying causes such as alcohol or drug use.
Additionally, the effects of a TBI can vary widely from person to person. Due to the complex nature of the brain, there is not one set of symptoms that will occur with all injuries. Some symptoms may be permanent, while others will resolve over time. The most common cause for TBIs is a fall, which may result in head trauma such as bruising or even bleeding inside the skull. Other causes include vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and violence.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a TBI?
Many symptoms reported by those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries are similar to those that can occur in other head injuries. Many of these symptoms come from the initial impact on the brain, which can cause pressure and damage to nerve endings. This can cause immediate and severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness, trouble walking, or loss of sensation in one or both halves of the body. The brain typically will recover fully, but it may take months to years for more permanent damage to show up. Other symptoms include memory loss, poor concentration, and social withdrawal. Other symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually. It is important to know the warning signs of TBIs and what to do if you have concerns about a friend or loved one who has suffered head trauma.
How Can a TBI Occur?
Traumatic brain injuries are not usually a result of abuse or neglect by an individual. Although this can happen, the cause generally is a sudden trauma, such as an automobile accident in which the head strikes something at the same time as the car. Other causes include sports injuries and violence or physical assault. The human head has a natural ability to protect itself, and this protects against injury. However, a sudden impact on the head can cause damage. The brain is also sensitive to pressure and weight. When pressure is placed on the brain or if the head has too much weight, it can cause damage. For example, when a person falls unconscious and their head hits an object such as a floorboard or wall, it can lead to brain damage due to swelling.
What is the Difference Between a Primary Injury and a Secondary Injury?
In most cases, brain injuries occur because of a primary injury. This generally means there is some sort of impact to the head or a non-penetrating object, such as a steel ball or piece of wood, that strikes the skull. Car accidents are the most common cause of TBIs, primarily due to human error or not following traffic laws. It is important to note that alcohol and drugs do not lead to lasting brain damage. In some cases, there is a secondary injury that causes more damage to the brain. This may occur because of a lack of oxygen or a blockage in the bloodstream. In other cases, it can be because of an underlying condition such as hypertension or diabetes that already exists in the patient.
How is a TBI Diagnosed?
If you have suffered a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting too long can increase the risks of infection or permanent damage. The medical professionals will examine your injuries, perform blood tests and possibly test your reflexes to determine if there is any brain damage from the injury and evaluate the best course of treatment for recovery. Once diagnosed with a TBI, it is important to monitor your condition and come in for regular follow-up visits. Medical professionals will monitor the injury to ensure there are no complications. You may also see a Personal Injury Lawyer for additional support and guidance with your recovery.
A traumatic brain injury is a serious condition that can leave lasting effects on physical and mental health. Identifying changes in memory, attention, and mood can be used as an early warning system to prevent further damage that could result in a more severe condition. If you have suffered brain trauma, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have concerns about a friend or loved one who has suffered head trauma, talk to your doctor about further treatment.