What You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A type of injury that occur as the result of a blow or jolt tot the head is a traumatic brain injury, which is often called a TBI. It is estimated that 2.5 million people suffer a TBI each year. A TBI is classified as mild, moderate or severe. Falls, violence, car accidents, sports and explosive blasts can lead to traumatic brain injuries.

Symptoms of a TBI

The symptoms of a TBI depend on the severity of the injury. There are physical and psychological symptoms that one may experience. Physical symptoms of a mild TBI include a loss of consciousness that can last for a few seconds up to a few minutes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and sleeping problems.

Psychological symptoms of a mild TBI include anxiety, depression and mood swings. Moderate to severe TBI symptoms include loss of consciousness that can last for a few minutes to several hours, seizures, loss of coordination and dilated pupils. A moderate to severe TBI can also cause slurred speech, confusion and agitation.

Treatment for a Traumatic Brain Injury

The type of treatment that one gets will depend on the severity of the injury. People who have a mild TBI will likely be told to rest and take over-the-counter drugs to reduce the pain. People who have suffered a traumatic brain injury will need to be monitored closely at home. They may also need to attend follow-up appointments.

People who have a moderate-to-severe TBI may be given diuretics, anti-seizure medications and coma-inducing drugs. In some cases, emergency surgery may be required.

Complications and Long-Term Effects

A severe traumatic brain injury can cause a person to go into a coma. This coma can last from a few days to a few weeks. Some people go into a vegetative state after being in a coma. A vegetative state is where a person is conscious, but they are unaware of their surroundings. This can sometimes be permanent.

A TBI can also result in cognitive, behavior and communication problems. There has also been evidence to suggest that people who suffer from repeated traumatic brain injuries are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

Because many traumatic brain injuries occur as the result of car accidents, one of the best things that you can do is to wear a seatbelt. You will also need to wear a helmet while playing a sport or riding a bicycle.