A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused by some form of physical force. However, an injury to the brain can lead to many different illnesses, complications, and long-term problems.
The mechanism of injury
In medical terms, the mechanism of injury is the cause of the trauma. A brain injury is still possible if there isn’t any external damage to the head. All it takes is force.
In many cases of TBI, a strong force can cause the brain to press against the interior of the skull opposite the impact. These types of injuries are common after:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle injuries
- Sports accidents
Anything with the potential for a sudden change of directions for your head – such as a sudden stop or a direct blow to the head – has the potential to cause a traumatic brain injury.
Signs and symptoms
The most common type of brain injury is a concussion, although many other types of brain injury. Concussions often go undetected and worsen without immediate treatment. Multiple concussions can lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is associated with personality changes, depression and early-onset dementia.
Early concussion signs include:
- Lack of focus
- Loss of memory
- Light sensitivity
Any one of these symptoms, on its own, may not mean much. When these symptoms come on the heels of an accident or a blow to the head, they demand immediate treatment.
Lifelong complications; lifelong treatment
Severe TBIs can leave a person in need of treatment for the rest of their life. They might not be able to work anymore. They might need constant, daily medical care. TBIs are not to be taken lightly.
It’s not your fault if you or a family member were in an accident and came away with a TBI. However, you do not have to face the difficulties of this diagnosis alone.