Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are far more common than most people realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an average of 155 people die in the US every day because of TBI-related injuries. Just under 3 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US are caused by TBI each year, including more than 800,000 of these events that affect children.
A traumatic brain injury happens as a result of a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. There are a number of events that can cause a TBI, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Explosive blasts;
- Sports injuries;
- Assault and other forms of violence.
It is not always easy to identify a TBI. Because of the extreme complexity of the human brain, the condition manifests itself differently in each individual case. To add to the difficulty, many of the signs and symptoms of TBI do not materialize until several days or in some cases even weeks after the accident or event that caused the head injury. This makes it challenging for medical professionals to diagnose a traumatic brain injury during the initial visit to a hospital or clinic.
If you suspect that you are a loved one might have a TBI, it is important to be on the lookout for some of the most common signs and symptoms and go in right away for a follow-up visit with a medical professional if you suspect that something is wrong. The sooner you get treated, the greater the chances that you will eventually be able to recover from this condition and resume a normal life.
4 Common Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that might indicate that you have an undiagnosed TBI condition:
Headaches are fairly common, and a lot of people get them on a regular basis. But if you are experiencing an increased frequency of headaches and/or these headaches are more severe and painful than usual, this is a cause for concern. Pay particular attention to tension headaches, migraine headaches, and musculoskeletal headaches. If these headaches last for a long time and you are not able to get rid of them with aspirin or similar medicines, see your doctor immediately.
Problems with your various senses are another possible indicator of a TBI. Examples include blurred or double vision, tired eyes, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, altered or lost sense of smell, loss of balance, problems swallowing, and altered or lost sense of taste.
Traumatic brain injuries can inhibit your ability to focus, concentrate, remember, read, and speak. These signs and symptoms would be indicative of cognitive problems; in other words, problems that negatively impact the way we think and reason.
For example, you might have trouble remembering basic information, such as where you put your wallet or car keys. Or you might have difficulty solving problems and/or articulating a solution to problems that you would normally have no trouble with. Cognitive difficulties could produce a wide range of adverse effects; such as preventing you from doing your work effectively and preventing you from participating in activities you would otherwise enjoy.
Significant Changes in Behavior
Our brain regulates our emotional states, and even a mild to moderate brain injury can cause us to behave differently. For example, TBI sufferers often have to deal regularly with depression, anxiety, and in the worst cases, suicidal thoughts. TBIs can also cause individuals to become easily irritable, behave erratically, and experience sudden mood changes.
If you are seeing one or more of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, this could be an indication of a traumatic brain injury, but it could also point to another medical condition. As mentioned previously, the best thing to do when any of these signs and symptoms show up is to get in to see a medical professional immediately, so you can receive a proper diagnosis and get on the road to recovery.
Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in South Carolina? Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
When signs and symptoms of a TBI show up, the first priority is to get proper medical care. But if the injury was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party, you deserve to be fully compensated. When this is the case, it is best to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable accident injury attorney, so you fully understand your legal rights and options.
If the injury occurred in South Carolina, contact Peake & Fowler for assistance. Message us online or call our Columbia, SC office today at 803-788-4370 schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.