Traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as TBI, is a brain injury that occurs due to some kind of impact to the head region – commonly through an accident or event sports. Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are basically two kinds of traumatic brain injury, penetrating injuries and closed head injuries.
- Penetrating injuries are the ones where something, like a bullet or debris has entered the head through a wound. The damage is generally confined to the area of the brain physically impacted by the external object.
- Closed head injuries on the other hand, are the ones that are acquired through impact on the head, such a through helmet-to-helmet contact in football. This injury can lead to either primary brain damage, which is immediately visible in the form of aches, bruises and fractures or secondary brain injury, which manifests after some time. Secondary brain injury could include things like anemia, epilepsy, intracranial pressure, brain swelling etc.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Headache and/or dizziness and loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of vision or consciousness for a short period
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Memory issues that are short termed or long term depending on the severity of trauma
- Mood swings or feelings of depression
- Seizures or convulsions
- Slurred speech, confusion or even coma
Traumatic brain injury is diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist. The pathologist may use the help of doctors, nurses or other therapists like physical therapists and even neuropsychologists. It needs to be understood that the more severe the head injury, like a car accident which involved collision, or violence such as home abuse, gunshot wound or combat injuries, the more severe would be the symptoms of the condition.
Complications Resulting from Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, where the worse that happens are a few stitches to the head. But if the injury is severe, it could give way to the patient going into coma, get into a vegetative state or even be proclaimed brain dead. This is the reason why it is suggested that no matter how insignificant the injury may seem, it should be treated immediately.