Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of people in Indiana and throughout the United States every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.87 million people went to the emergency room, were hospitalized or died as a result of traumatic brain injuries in one year alone. TBIs can have long-term effects on peoples’ lives, making it difficult to perform everyday activities and return to work, depending on the severity of the injury.
It is critical to know how to identify the signs and symptoms of a brain injury, as the sooner you seek medical treatment after becoming injured, the better the outcome and recovery rate. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, signs of mild brain injury include the following:
- Blurred vision, trouble hearing and other sensory deficiencies
- Persistent headaches
- Confusion, poor short-term memory and trouble making decisions
- Sudden mood changes and behavioral abnormalities
- Fatigue, lethargy and a change in sleeping patterns
- Tingling in the extremities and muscle weakness
With moderate to severe cases of brain injury, signs may include repeated nausea and vomiting, seizures, convulsions, trouble speaking, loss of coordination and agitation. Keep in mind that the symptoms of brain injuries may vary depending on the extent of the injury as well as where the injury occurred.
A sudden impact to the head, such as an object hitting the head or the head smacking into the steering wheel of a car, can cause the soft tissue of the brain to hit into the hard skull bone. This can cause brain bleeding, bruising and inflammation. The inflammation may lead to increased pressure in the skull cavity, which could lead to further damage. Getting medical attention right away can minimize chances of long-term damage.