There are a few different names for a traumatic brain injury. They can also be called acquired brain injury or just a head injury. The cause of these injuries to the brain is a sudden trauma which causes damage to the brain. This can happen when the head is suddenly hit with force, like in an auto accident, or when an object damages the brain tissue by piercing the skull. For example, when in a rear end accident, the motion that propels the head forward can cause the brain to come into contact with the inside of the skull. This can cause a mild closed head injury.
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe. A person who is experiencing a mild case may lose conscious for a few seconds or even minutes. Other symptoms may include:
- Vision problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Memory and attention issues
These same symptoms can also be seen in a person with more moderate and severe brain injuries. Some other symptoms may include:
- Not having the ability to wake up
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- Numbness in arms or legs
What should you do?
If you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, it is very important to get it checked out by a doctor. If there is a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, the treatments will vary depending on the severity of the injury. There may not be a lot that can be done to reverse the brain injury caused by a traumatic event. What medical personnel will do is try to stabilize the patient to prevent further injury. They will make sure there is enough oxygen getting to the brain as well as adequate blood flow throughout the body. X-rays will also be taken to check for fractures and spinal issues. For more severe instances, a computed tomography (CT) scan will be taken. Treatment is highly individualized and will be based on the needs of the patient. These may include physical rehabilitation, speech therapy or occupational therapy.