Do You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a life-changing medical event and condition. The brain is a complicated organ and damaging it can lead to a huge range of changes in behavior, mobility, and more. It’s a leading cause of both death and disability in the United States, with an estimated 1.5 million Americans sustaining a TBI each year. About 80,000 to 90,000 of these experience the onset of long-term disability. Around 5.3 million people, including both adults and children, are currently living with a traumatic brain injury.

Some traumatic brain injuries may be acquired suddenly, while others can possibly become worse over time. Some have short-term effects, while others may result in long-term symptoms. Not everyone who has a TBI may realize it, especially if the symptoms begin to slowly emerge over time or are not immediately spotted. The main causes of traumatic brain injury include motor vehicle crashes, violence, suicidal behavior, and falls.

A traumatic brain injury can not only result in disability but may also have a significant financial impact on those who experience one and their families. Understanding TBI and its impact is important for anyone who thinks that they could have one.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is a form of acquired brain injury resulting from sudden damage to the brain. It can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage and the resulting symptoms. Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by many things and display various different symptoms. Some people can recover from them, while others result in permanent disability.

The Symptoms of a TBI

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury vary depending on the severity. An injury might cause someone to be unconscious or they can remain awake. Someone with a mild traumatic brain injury may experience symptoms such as headaches, confusion, dizziness, tinnitus, fatigue, changes in mood or behavior, or difficulties with concentration or thinking. 

People with a more severe traumatic brain injury can also experience these symptoms but might also have symptoms such as vomiting and nausea, seizures, slurred speech, a loss of coordination, weakness or numbness in parts of their body, and higher levels of confusion or agitation.

Potential Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by multiple different things. Falls are a leading cause of TBI-related hospital admissions, especially among the elderly, accounting for around half of the total number. Motor vehicle accidents and assault are also major causes of traumatic brain injuries.

Although these are the main causes of traumatic brain injuries in terms of numbers, anything that causes a head trauma could result in a TBI.