The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States.
Furthermore, the fact that TBI’s are a contributing factor in more than 30 percent of all injury-related fatalities in the country makes the diagnosis and treatment process for a brain injury even more important in today’s world.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics in the U.S.
As we have discussed extensively in the past, there are a wide range of types of traumatic brain injury. However, mild traumatic brain injuries – categorized as concussions or other low-impact injuries that still cause significant physical trauma to the brain – make up approximately 75 percent of all TBI’s each year.
That means three out of four people with a brain injury could potentially miss the warning signs or ignore the mild TBI symptoms altogether. Since TBI’s can be overlooked by injury victims, it is important that anyone who suffers physical trauma consult with a physician to determine the extent of the injury.
Typically, nausea, headaches and memory problems are the standard warning signs for someone with a brain injury. Severe instances will be more apparent to the injured person than mild ones, but it is always best to be overly cautious when it comes to an injury to the brain.
All head injuries are different, however, and it is important to consider all of the potential red flags that could result from a TBI.
Symptoms of a Minor TBI
Mood swings are one of the more overlooked symptoms resulting from a TBI. Injury victims may be less likely to connect the dots between a head injury and emotional side effects than a painful headache, but they absolutely serve as just as big of a warning sign.
Fatigue is another common side effect for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Most TBI’s require additional rest throughout the recovery process, because that is one of the natural ways that the body heals. On the other hand, inability to sleep is also a common symptom with brain injuries. Extremes on either side of this are absolutely a red flag that you may be suffering complications from the head trauma.
Seizures, loss of consciousness, and chronic headaches are the much more apparent symptoms of TBI’s that injury victims are more likely to connect to previous head trauma. Needless to say, these symptoms are obvious signs of long-term complications and warrant an immediate trip to the doctor’s office. It is also important that TBI victims do not take any medication without first consulting with a physician. Some drugs can worsen internal bleeding and further the complications of the brain injury.
As a general rule, it is best to immediately consult with a doctor and rest after any significant head trauma. Continuing physical activity is only going to make your symptoms more severe and put you at greater risk of making matters worse or suffering from second impact syndrome (SIS).