Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious injury caused by a sudden jolt or violent blow to the head. It can also occur when an object penetrates the skull. TBIs range from mild to severe and can result in brain dysfunction, psychological symptoms, disability, and even death.
A violent blow to the head from a car accident, sports injury, or fall is the most common cause of a TBI. When one occurs, tissues and blood vessels can tear and cause bleeding around the brain. Other causes include being struck by an object, child abuse, blast injuries from explosions, and being hit with a bullet or projectile. Men are more likely to get a TBI than women and adults over age 65 are at greatest risk.
Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the TBI. In mild cases, brief loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, blurred vision, and ringing in the ears are all common. In moderate or severe cases, a headache that does not go away, vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, numbness in the arms and legs, and loss of coordination are also possible.
All traumatic brain injuries require immediate emergency care to prevent further damage. In some cases, surgery, medications, and rehabilitation therapies may be necessary. People with TBIs are often at risk for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder and can benefit from mental health services. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan that is right for your needs.