As explained by the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the head is violently jolted or impacted. That means these injuries are quite common during car accidents, which often involve high rates of speed and violent collisions.
Symptoms of TBI vary according to the severity of the injuries and what part of the brain receives damage. Here are a few of the most common symptoms, so you can seek immediate medical attention for yourself or a loved one.
Minimal TBI causes headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and loss of balance. The person may hear ringing in their ears or have blurry vision. Brief unconsciousness can also occur, as can sleepiness and problems concentrating. Even if symptoms seem minor, the person should receive a medical assessment.
Moderate to severe symptoms
These symptoms typically occur within a few hours or days after the initial injury. Look for extended loss of consciousness, sometimes lasting several hours. The person might experience seizures or convulsions, or suffer from significant nausea, to the point of vomiting. They may also exhibit problems with balance or numbness in the extremities. These symptoms require immediate medical attention to prevent more serious effects.
States of altered consciousness may accompany more serious damage to the brain. In addition to comas, which involve a total unawareness and lack of response to external stimulation, vegetative states can also occur. A vegetative state includes reflex response and minimal actions, such as blinking. A minimally conscious state is similar but includes some level of self-awareness. Brain death occurs when there is no brain activity at all.
Some people make a full recovery from their TBI. As for others, the recovery process is long and drawn-out. In some cases, it is not possible to completely recover from TBI, and the victim might require lifelong care to cope.