Whether you have been involved in a minor fender bender or a major collision, you run the risk of being seriously injured. While broken bones and lacerations are obvious injuries that must be attended to, there may be other injuries that are harder to spot. Traumatic brain injuries can go unnoticed, but can cause serious, long-term damage if left untreated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists traumatic brain injuries as the second-leading cause of hospitalizations in the United States. The problem lies in the fact that symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after the accident occurred.
Traumatic brain injures occur when the soft tissue of the brain receives a sudden jolt, causing it to smack into the hard skull bone. This quick impact can cause tissue damage, bleeding, bruising and swelling of the brain. If the injury is not attended to, the swelling and bleeding cause pressure to build in the skull cavity, which can cause further tissue damage. It is crucial to seek medical attention right away to prevent this.
The signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries vary greatly, depending on the area of the brain that is injured, as well as how badly it is injured. People may suffer changes in behavior and mood, decreased sensory functions and their ability to communicate with others. Other signs of brain injury include:
- Dizziness and confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense headaches
- Seizures and convulsions
- Trouble remembering or concentrating
Treatment for brain injuries involves therapy and rehabilitation to help repair the damaged part of the brain.