The leading cause of death and disability in the United States is traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is an injury that occurs when there has been an extreme amount of force applied to the head. These types of injuries can be difficult to diagnose since they often do not involve a telling penetration or fracture to the skull. However, the tissues and cells of the brain can be so overly damaged that cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments occur.
What should I know about closed head injuries?
TBI occurs most often when someone has been involved in a car accident. Anytime someone suffers a blow, shake, or bump to the head, there is the potential for a closed head injury to have occurred. Consider the recent growing concerns for football player that suffer blows to the head. These concussions, while seemingly minor, may result in permanent brain damage. Some TBI cases are mild, while others are severe, but no matter how small a brain injury may be, permanent and life-altering consequences can occur.
A closed head can be identified by three different types of symptoms:
- Physical: Seizures, balance issues, fatigue, muscle spasticity, headaches, vision problems, loss of senses, and speech impairments
- Cognitive: Memory loss, lack of participation in activities, slowed processing ability, inability to handle more than one task at a time, concentration troubles, organizational problems, and communication difficulties
- Emotional: Anxiety, egocentric behavior, depression, agitation, and impulsive behavior
Someone who has experienced a TBI may only show some of these common symptoms and suffer other side effects as well. If anyone has hit their head and experienced any sort of side effect as a result, they should consult a medical professional to determine if they are suffering from TBI. Closed head accidents may not be so obvious at first, but medical help can be instrumental in preventing serious brain damage or even death.