Traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain resulting from external force, such as a violent blow or jolt to the head. Brain injuries can have long-lasting effects, so it is important to recognize the signs early.
There are several signs to watch for that could indicate a brain injury.
Some of the most noticeable signs of TBI are physical. Headaches that will not go away are one of the most common post-accident symptoms. These may feel like migraines or tension headaches. Nausea and vomiting are also frequent complaints, along with dizziness, balance problems and fatigue. TBI patients often report vision changes, including blurriness, light sensitivity and double vision.
In addition to physical symptoms, TBI can cause cognitive dysfunction. This includes problems with memory, attention, concentration, information processing and judgment. TBI patients may experience confusion, disorientation, slower thinking and difficulty finding words. Multitasking and handling complex tasks may suddenly become challenging. These cognitive deficits can be subtle at first but have profound effects on everyday life.
Personality and emotional changes frequently accompany TBI. Increased irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings and aggression are common. Brain injury can reduce impulse control and cause inappropriate emotional reactions. Pre-existing mental health conditions often worsen post-injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 69,473 deaths related to TBIs in 2021. Early intervention is key, so prompt medical evaluation is essential. If you or a loved one exhibits these signs, do not delay seeking diagnosis and treatment. TBI can have lasting consequences, but the outlook improves with appropriate rehabilitation.