Traumatic Brain Injuries are Common, Spot the Warning Signs
Did you know more than 5.3 million individuals in the United States live with a permanent brain injury-related disability? That’s one in every 60 people, according to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). And more than 2.8 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries every year.
Every March, the BIAA leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month as a way to rally a large community to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. And experts say awareness is the key to keeping our brains healthy. Here’s what you should know about how brain injuries occur and how to reduce the number of incidents.
What Exactly is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Believe it or not, the BIAA says someone in this country will experience a brain injury every nine seconds. How is this possible? Because a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is more common than you think. It’s a form of brain damage that can happen when a person’s head is hit or jolted. This could be due to:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Workplace accidents
A concussion is often referred to as a “mild TBI.” Both terms signify a change in normal brain functioning and both should be taken seriously. Multiple concussions can lead to more significant symptoms. Even though the severity of a TBI can vary, a head injury should never be taken lightly. Here’s why.
The Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury Aren’t Always Noticeable
Despite the danger that a TBI poses to victims, it isn’t always easy to spot. A TBI is often contained within the skull, with no external evidence of an injury. This makes diagnosis more complicated than it would be for other injuries. The victim—or those close to them—may have to look for warning signs in their behavior.
Because symptoms may not be noticeable right away, it makes the danger of a TBI all the greater. It can take hours, days, or even weeks for symptoms to manifest clearly. By then the injury may be more severe, require even more effective treatment or be harder to recover from.
Immediate symptoms to watch for may include headaches, dilated pupils, loss of consciousness, dizziness or confusion, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, ringing in your ears, sensitivity to light or sound, seizures or paralysis.
Symptoms that don’t show up until more time has passed include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, mood swings, problems with coordination or balance, changes in vision, taste or smell, depression, anxiety, chronic, persistent fear, changes in personality or fatigue. Some people find it difficult to make rational decisions if they’re suffering from a TBI, which could keep you from recognizing symptoms.
What is challenging with a TBI is that some symptoms, like depression, anxiety, or sleep difficulties, can go undetected because they may not appear to be related to a brain injury.
Do You Suspect You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
It’s imperative to listen to and trust the advice of others who may help you by pointing out a potential injury. Early medical intervention can mean the difference between full recovery or lingering, long-term symptoms. As mentioned above, the longer it takes to diagnose a TBI, the harder it may be to treat and heal. If you’ve had a significant accident like a car crash or a fall, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Not only will this medical attention help you avoid severe long-term damage from TBI, but it will also provide valuable support if you decide to pursue compensation for your injury.
Get Help From an Experienced Tucson Personal Injury Law Firm
If you are injured through someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation. Discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with an experienced Tucson personal injury lawyer by contacting us today.