Guide: Symptoms, diagnosis, and effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month.
TBI symptoms can be as varied as ringing in the ears to slurred speech. 
Below all you need to know about the symptoms, diagnosis and the effects:

CAUSES

TBI is often caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or explosive blast to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain’s normal function. Not all hits to the head result in TBI.

SYMPTOMS OF MILD TBI INCLUDE:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory impairment
  • Blurred vision
  • Behavioral changes
Click here for more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MODERATE AND SEVERE TBI CAN PRODUCE MORE SYMPTOMS INCLUDING:

  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Problems with thinking and learning
  • Death
Click here for more information from the CDC.

DIAGNOSIS OF TBI

A medical exam is the first step to diagnose a potential brain injury. Imaging tests, including CT scans and MRI scans, cannot detect all TBIs. 
If you have questions about TBI, talk to your health care provider. Anyone with signs of TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 in emergency situations.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF TBI

Little can be done to reverse initial brain damage caused by trauma, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Health care professionals will work to stabilize patients and try to prevent further harm. The severity of long-term effects depends on the seriousness of the injury, location of the injury, the number of previous brain injuries, and the age and general health of a patient.

WHERE TO GET HELP

There are many organizations who can help you and your family as you recover from a brain injury. CLICK HERE for some groups that offer support for people living with a TBI, their family, caregivers, and loved ones.