WHAT IS A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
A traumatic brain injury is a type of acquired brain damage. It occurs when external harm, such as a bludgeoning, happens to the brain. Brain damage caused by internal factors such as illness do not qualify. A TBI will most likely occur when something violently hits the head or an object penetrates the brain tissue itself.
Anyone who experiences a head injury should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Imaging tests are used to confirm the diagnosis and the prognosis of the traumatic brain injury. Health care professionals may conduct a neurological exam, skull and neck X-rays, or a CT scan to determine the extent and severity of any injury.
SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION
Immediately after a mild TBI, a person will likely show:
- Loss of consciousness (for only a few minutes)
- Headache and/or neck pain
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Sensory issues such as blurred vision or ringing in the ears
Other symptoms may develop hours or days after the injury. These include:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Bad taste in mouth
- Trouble with memory and concentration
- Behavioral changes such as impulsivity
Most people recover from concussion symptoms after a few weeks. Yet one in five people will develop post-concussion syndrome, in which symptoms persist after six weeks. The more concussions a person experiences, the more likely they are to experience long-term symptoms.