Every year, 1.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI), ranging from mild concussions to more serious damage that results in death. These injuries occur due to some kind of external force, such as a bike rider hitting their head on the ground during a fall or a driver hitting their head against the steering wheel when their air bags fail to deploy. These impacts result in the brain physically moving inside the skull.
Unfortunately, even seemingly minor accidents, like a football player suffering a concussion after being tackled, can have long-lasting effects. If you or a loved one experiences a TBI, it’s essential that you get medical attention as soon as possible.
But how do you know if you’re suffering from a TBI? The symptoms aren’t always obvious, but there are typically some tell-tale signs, even in mild TBI cases. Here are some red flags you should look out for after any accident in which you hit your head.
Loss of consciousness. Accidents that cause a TBI often, but not always, result in a temporary loss of consciousness. In less severe cases, a person might lose consciousness for a few seconds or a few minutes, while in more severe cases, a person might lose consciousness for several hours or even go into a coma. Keep in mind that if you did not lose consciousness but are experiencing other TBI symptoms, you should still see a doctor.
Sensory problems. TBIs can affect any of the senses, and you may experience blurred vision, a bad or metallic taste in your mouth, a tinny ringing in your ears, or even changes in the way you smell the scents around you. You may also have dilated pupils and sensitivity to light and sound.
Mood swings. Even mild TBIs can bring on unpredictable mood swings or feelings of depression and anxiety. In moderate to severe cases, a person might also feel confused or belligerent, even if they’ve never been particularly aggressive before.
Memory and concentration problems. Unfortunately, TBIs can cause long-term memory and concentration problems. Someone who has experienced a TBI may have difficulty recalling things or focusing on a task for an extended period of time.
Sleep problems. TBIs can cause a number of different sleep-related problems, including fatigue and drowsiness, insomnia, sleeping more than usual, or in extreme cases, inability to awaken from sleep.
Dizziness or discoordination. If you’re feeling dizzy or are unable to keep your balance after experiencing a blow to the head, you are likely suffering from a TBI.
Persistent headache. As you can imagine, intense and persistent headaches are often a symptom when the brain physically moves inside the skull.
Nausea. People who experience mild TBIs often report feeling nauseated, and some actually vomit. Moderate to severe TBIs can result in repeated nausea or vomiting.
Keep in mind that you will not necessarily experience all of these symptoms if you suffer from a TBI, and while some symptoms may appear immediately after the accident, others may not become noticeable for weeks. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention after you’ve experienced any kind of head injury, even if you don’t think you have a TBI.
If you find out that you or a loved one has suffered a TBI and you know that your injury was caused by the actions of negligent third party—such as a driver who crashed into you in a Tampa car accident or a manufacturer who made a defective helmet—consult a traumatic brain injury lawyer by calling the Rivas Law Group at 877-299-5539. If another person or organization is liable for your injury, you are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses and suffering.