Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have subtle signs and symptoms, which may not manifest until days or months after the injury. At times, the signs of TBI may even be ignored as the injured person may appear fine despite them acting or feeling differently. It is vital to consult a medical professional immediately if any of the symptoms manifest suddenly or become worse over time after a traumatic brain injury.
Signs and Symptoms of TBI
Some common signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are as follows (and make sure you seek and obtain medical attention):
- Change in or loss of consciousness anywhere from a few seconds to several hours
- Reduced level of consciousness, i.e., difficulty awakening
- Seizures or convulsions
- Double vision or unequal pupil dilation in the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the ears or nose
- Vomiting and nausea
- New neurological deficit, including weakness of the face, arms, or legs, slurred speech, and/or loss of balance
The other commonly occurring symptoms of TBI that should be monitored are:
- Dizziness, light-headedness, loss of coordination or balance, vertigo
- Eyes that tire quickly, seeing stars, blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Loss of the sense of taste or smell
- Sensitivity to sounds, light, or distractions
- Changes in mood or mood swings, agitation (feeling upset or angry without reason), aggressiveness, or other abnormal behavior
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Drowsiness or fatigue; a lack of motivation or energy
- Sleep pattern changes (sleeping significantly more or having a hard time falling asleep or remaining awake), inability to rise from sleep
- Challenges in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Taking excessive time to think, act, speak, or read
Such signs and symptoms can be readily missed as people may look healthy, even if they feel or act differently. Several traumatic brain injury symptoms occur along with other conditions, such as sleep disorders or depression.
Signs and Symptoms of TBI in Children
While children with a brain injury may have the same symptoms as adult patients, it is typically more challenging for them to explain to others how they feel. In case your child has sustained a blow to the head and displays any of the following symptoms, call your child’s physician promptly:
- Persistent irritability, crying, or crankiness; inconsolable
- Changes in dietary habits
- Changes in consciousness
- The loss of skills, such as using the toilet
- Unsteady walking or loss of balance
- Changes in the ability to focus; lack of interest in previously preferred activities or toys
- Changes in the manner in which the child plays
- Sleep pattern changes
- Lethargy or tiredness
- Changes in the child’s performance at school
Serious TBI-Related Complications or Symptoms
A person can experience issues with consciousness, arousal, alertness, awareness, and responsiveness due to sustaining a traumatic brain injury. In general, a severe TBI can cause the following four abnormal states:
Brain death refers to the lack of measurable brain activity or function after a prolonged time. Studies showing no blood supply to the brain can confirm this state.
In a coma, a person is completely unaware, unconscious, and unable to react to external stimuli, such as light or pain. Generally, coma can last for a few days or few weeks following which the patient may regain consciousness, enter a vegetative state, or die.
Due to extensive brain damage, people who are in a vegetative state are unaware or unconscious of their surroundings. But they can have bouts of unresponsive alertness, where they may move, groan, or display reflex responses.
Minimally conscious state
Individuals who have severely changed consciousness but still show some signs of self-awareness or awareness of their surroundings (such as yes/no responses, following simple commands) are considered to be in a minimally conscious state.
How do Brain Injuries Occur?
The most common reason associated with brain injuries is a blow to a person’s head. This could occur due to a car wreck, cycling accident (a lot of people still ride bikes for all sorts of altruistic reasons), sports injury, or a fall.
According to the CDC, a majority of traumatic brain injury cases occur due to a fall. The second and third leading reasons for brain trauma are unintentional blunt trauma and automobile accidents.
Notably, a TBI can occur even if there is no physical contact involved. For instance, the head can jerk back and forth with significant force due to whiplash, causing the brain to hit against the skull’s inside. Such events can sometimes lead to TBI and other severe complications.
Legal Help from Experienced Personal Injury Experts
The seasoned personal injury lawyers at Reeves & Mestayer have assisted countless TBI victims in recovering fair compensation from the person who caused their tragic injury. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys understand your precarious situation, and we will work with you and your family to ensure that you get justice. Call today at 1-855-558-2977 to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.