Someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury every nine seconds, states the Brain Injury Association of America, and you may be one of the many who lives with the effects of this type of catastrophic injury. Traumatic brain injuries generally occur due to a sudden, violent blow to the body or head, or when an object reaches the tissue in your brain.
Although a mild TBI may only have a temporary effect on your brain, a severe injury can result in long-lasting damage. Whether your brain injury was mild or severe, you may experience certain physical and cognitive symptoms in the days, weeks or even months following the accident.
After you sustain a brain injury in a serious accident, you may notice some of the following physical signs:
- Loss of consciousness or a persistent state of confusion and disorientation
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems falling asleep or sleeping more than usual
- Difficulty speaking
- Weakness or numbness in your fingers or toes that does not go away
- Blurry or double vision
Other common physical TBI symptoms include persistent headaches, loss of balance and dizziness.
Cognitive and mental symptoms
Following a brain injury, you may have a hard time concentrating or remembering things. You may also experience changes to your emotional state and drastic mood swings. Additionally, you may struggle with anxiety and depression, even if you did not have these issues before the accident.
Medical experts categorize brain injuries into three groups: mild, moderate and severe. Although a severe brain injury may have a long-term effect on your ability to live a normal life, even a mild brain injury is still a serious issue that can cause noticeable persistent effects and requires prompt medical attention. If you experience any of the common mental, cognitive or physical symptoms of a brain injury, seek medical care as soon as possible.