While we deal with traumatic brain injuries every day here, the majority only think about brain injuries when one seems unavoidable or when the topic pops up in discussion. But, the issue will be more prominent everywhere for the next month, as March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.
To commemorate the month long heightened awareness of TBI, we thought now would be a good time to remind you of the signs of a brain injury, as well as some important facts which help show just how large of an issue traumatic brain injuries really are.
Traumatic brain injuries don’t just happen in sports, though the concussion rates in athletics have been getting the bulk of the media attention. Instead, brain injuries can happen to anyone at anytime. In fact, the most common causes of brain injuries are from much more common activities such as driving or falling.
It is estimated that approximately 2.4 billion people suffer TBI every year in the United States alone.
If you believe you have suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion, you should be on watch for any of the signs or symptoms. However, symptoms can take hours or even days to manifest. The symptoms of brain injuries, as listed by the Mayo Clinic include:
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- Feeling dazed, confused, or disoriented
- Memory or concentration problems
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or a bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Mood changes
- Depression or anxiety
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
- Loss of consciousness lasting longer than a few minutes
- Profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness, or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
- Persistent headache
- repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
If you think you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms alone may not be indicative of the severity of injury and it is best to be evaluated by a professional before any secondary damage can occur.
TBI Quick Facts
- TBI is a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.
- TBI can increase the risk of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease
- Males are statistically 1.5 times more likely as females to sustain a TBI
- Children under the age of 4, teens aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are at the highest risk of suffering TBI
- Having a concussion or TBI increases the risk of having another
- Kids who suffer a concussion are likely to have a slower recovery, especially if they’ve sustained one or more blows to the head in the past