Traumatic brain injuries affect a multitude of people every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 155 Americans die every day from brain injury complications. Every year, more than 2.5 million people go to the hospital, visit the emergency room or die with traumatic brain injuries.
Those who survive their injuries may suffer from certain long-term injuries and/or side effects. It is important to understand how brain injuries occur and how to identify the symptoms, so you can seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
How traumatic brain injuries occur
The brain is a mass of soft tissue suspended in fluid within the skull cavity. A sudden impact or forceful jolt, such as a car accident or fall, may cause the brain to hit the hard bone of the skull. This impact can cause brain bleeding and bruising. Over time, inflammation and swelling of the brain may cause additional pressure within the skull cavity, which may lead to further damage. Traumatic injuries may occur if an object impales the skull and goes into the brain tissue.
Identifying the signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries vary depending on where the injury occurred in the brain, as well as injury severity. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, symptoms may include the following:
- Persistent headaches that grow in intensity
- Muscle weakness and tingling in the extremities
- Trouble with memory, making plans or problem-solving
- Emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression and change in personality
- Trouble sleeping
TBI can cause sensory deficiencies, such as difficulty hearing and seeing. People may have trouble speaking or understanding language. For some, it can be difficult to return to work and continue the same tasks performed before the injury. With therapy and rehabilitation, however, you may recover some of your lost abilities.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.