A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when something fractures the skull, penetrates the skull, or injures brain tissue. TBIs are usually the result of violent force to the head or a jolt of the head or body. About half of all TBIs are caused by car accidents, and while some are temporary, others are very serious and can bring about long-term problems. If you have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury or suspect a TBI, it’s very important for you to seek care from an experienced and knowledgeable Atlanta neurologist. A brain injury may require aggressive treatment and you need a quality specialist to help you overcome the challenges of a TBI after an accident.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
TBIs can be part of car accident injuries in two different ways. One happens when you hit your head against something, like the steering wheel, window, headrest, or windshield. This is considered blunt trauma and is a more serious type of head injury. This type of TBI may or may not cause an open wound, and an object may or may not penetrate the skull or brain tissue. If something does penetrate the skull or the brain itself, the long-term effects will be far more severe. The second way a TBI can happen in a car accident occurs when the sheer force of the accident causes the brain to shift inside the head and hit the interior of the skull. This type of traumatic brain injury will not be evident on the outside, but it can cause bruising of the brain (contusions) or bleeding of the brain (hemorrhage). An Atlanta neurologist will be able to better determine the primary cause of the TBI and the severity, so be sure to visit a specialist as soon as you suspect or notice symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.
What Are the Symptoms of a TBI?
Symptoms of a TBI can be mild or severe, physical or psychological. Some symptoms show up immediately after the injury, while others may take days or even weeks to manifest. The primary physical symptoms include loss of consciousness, confusion, headache, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness and fatigue, difficulty sleeping or sleeping far more often than usual, speech problems, dizziness, and loss of balance or coordination. Some individuals may experience sensory symptoms, such as a sensitivity to light and sound, a weird taste in the mouth, changes in sense of smell, blurred vision, or ringing in the ears. Cognitive symptoms are usually an indicator or a more severe traumatic brain injury, but some individuals with mild TBI may also experience cognitive troubles, such as trouble concentrating, memory problems, mood changes, feelings of depression, anxiety, agitation and combativeness, slurred speech, and disorders of consciousness.
Mild vs. Severe TBI
Mild traumatic brain injuries may bring about short-term problems that will improve over time as the brain heals. Severe TBIs, however, will require recurring appointments with an Atlanta neurologist to monitor changes in symptoms, explore treatment options, and assist in proper healing. No matter how minor or severe you think a TBI is, it’s always best to seek the care of a professional as head injuries need prompt medical attention and progress should be monitored by an experienced Atlanta neurologist. The more severe the TBI, the more likely the individual is to experience complications and long-term problems from the injury.
Problems Associated with TBIs
Mild injuries will rarely lead to long-term intellectual changes, communication problems, behavioral changes, emotional changes, or sensory problems, but severe TBIs can bring about some or all of these things. Some people will experience a number of physical complications due to the injuries, like seizures, hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in the brain), infections around the brain, blood vessel damage, headaches, and vertigo. In the most severe situations, complications can also include states of altered consciousness, such as coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, or brain death. An Atlanta neurologist can evaluate the severity and offer advice on the prognosis and treatment plans of a traumatic brain injury. With certain types of care, complications can be lessened and some individuals with a TBI can have a better chance of living a normal life with no long-term effects.
Trust AICA Orthopedics for TBI Care
If you or a loved one has experienced a head injury during a car accident, it’s important that you seek medical care right away. Head injuries are not something to take lightly, and your Atlanta neurologist can get you on track for the best healing. At AICA Orthopedics, our staff of neurologists, chiropractors, orthopedists, and more will work together to provide you with comprehensive quality care to give you the best outcome from your injury.