Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a major cause of death and disability in the United States. It is important to recognize the symptoms of a TBI early so that treatment can be started as soon as possible. The severity of a TBI can range from mild to severe, and each has its own unique set of signs and symptoms. Knowing how to recognize these symptoms by their severity is essential for ensuring prompt medical care for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Mild TBI Symptoms
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of head injury that can cause a wide range of symptoms. It occurs when there is an external force to the head, such as from a fall or blow to the head. The severity and types of symptoms vary depending on the individual, but common mild TBI symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and memory problems. In some cases, mild TBI can also lead to emotional changes such as depression or anxiety.
While most people with mild TBI recover within weeks or months after their injury, others may have long-term difficulties related to their condition. Therefore it's important for those who experience any of these symptoms following a head trauma to seek medical attention right away so they can get the proper diagnosis and treatment they need in order to make a full recovery.
Moderate TBI Symptoms
Moderate TBI is a form of traumatic brain injury that results in more serious symptoms than mild TBI, but is not as severe as a severe TBI. Symptoms of moderate TBI may include confusion, disorientation, headaches, dizziness, memory loss or difficulty concentrating. In some cases, vision problems and speech difficulties may occur with moderate TBIs.
Other common signs are nausea or vomiting and changes in behavior such as increased irritability or aggression. Depending on the severity of the trauma to the head and how quickly treatment is received after diagnosis, these symptoms can last for days to weeks or even months after the initial injury has occurred.
Severe TBI Symptoms
Severe brain injury (TBI) is a devastating condition that can cause long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments. It can be caused by a car accident, fall, sports injury or any form of trauma to the head. Symptoms associated with severe TBI can range from mild to life-threatening and may include confusion, memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, dizziness or blurred vision, seizures, coma, paralysis on one side of the body, and even death.
Long-term effects may include changes in behavior, such as aggression or depression, impaired judgment and decision making skills, communication difficulties, fatigue, headaches, and other physical symptoms. Treatment for severe TBI typically involves a combination of medical care — including surgery if needed — plus rehabilitation therapy over time to help patients relearn lost skills and adapt to their new abilities.