Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a person experiences a violent jolt, blow or shot to the head, neck or body.
A mild TBI may have a temporary effect on the brain cells, but more-serious damage can result in long-term treatment needs, as well as severe complications or death. Symptoms of TBI can be physical or psychological and some may appear immediately following a traumatic event, while others may present days or weeks later.
Common physical signs of mild, moderate and severe TBI include the following:
- Loss of balance, dizziness or drowsiness
- Speech problems
- Nausea or vomiting
These sensory anomalies may appear hours or days after an injury:
- Blurred vision, tinnitus and impaired ability to smell or taste
- Sensitivity to sound and light
Some cognitive symptoms may take longer to present:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Depression, anxiety or mood swings
- Concentration or memory problems
Any or all of these signs can linger for days, weeks or months after a TBI.
Changes to the brain after a TBI can alter a person’s state of consciousness in severe ways including coma, vegetative state, minimal consciousness or brain death. Additionally, some physical complications may result from brain injuries such as headaches, seizures, infections and vertigo.
If untreated, even a small bump on the head could cause you major problems. If you suffer a personal injury that leaves you with symptoms of a TBI, you should seek medical care immediately to mitigate potential long-term damage.