Identifying an Undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury
Identifying a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be difficult, especially if you are unable to see a physician immediately following a blow to the head. Even when victims do present to the urgent care or emergency room shortly after suffering their injury, physicians often miss the silent symptoms of TBI or attribute them to another cause. Further, some signs of concussion or brain injury fail to materialize for days or even weeks, which makes it even more difficult to diagnose these conditions.
If you or a loved one have experienced head trauma and are exhibiting any of the following signs or symptoms, you might have suffered a TBI and should consult with a medical health professional immediately.
4 Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries can impact your quality of life and should not be ignored. Unfortunately, far too many individuals experience undiagnosed TBIs and thus fail to receive proper treatment. Here are four of the most common signs and symptoms victims of TBI experience following their injury.
Increased instances and severity of headaches might be a signal you’ve suffered a severe brain injury and that you should visit a doctor right away — especially if they are frequent or don’t subside in a few hours.
A post-traumatic headache (PTHA) can occur in several forms and is one of the most common symptoms of a TBI. Tension headaches, which are generally described as a feeling of pressure in the head or neck, are often related to a reduced tolerance for stress or difficulty in thinking. Additionally, an increase in frequency or severity of migraine headaches account for nearly 20% of all PTHAs.
Often overlooked, musculoskeletal headaches are also a common form of PTHA. These usually develop from pain caused by damage done to the muscles or bones in the head and neck area. Considering the force of impact that often leads to TBIs, these headaches can be a good indicator of a larger health concern.
2. Sensory Problems
Abnormal changes to any of your five senses — including (but not limited to) blurred vision, tired eyes, ringing ears, and loss of taste or smell — are common signs you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Vision problems may manifest due to difficulty focusing your eyes or an increased sensitivity to light and stimuli. Hearing difficulties are often associated with a condition called tinnitus, which is muffled hearing or a ringing sound in one or both ears. Changes to smell or taste can be more difficult to identify but may become apparent if familiar foods suddenly take on a different scent or have a metallic taste.
3. Behavioral Changes
Depression and anxiety can develop as a result of a TBI. The brain regulates our emotional states, and so even a small change due to injury can create significant differences in how we behave and react to situations in our day-to-day lives. In many cases, these symptoms may even combine to impact your job, schoolwork, and quality of life.
Mood swings from these altered emotional states can, in some cases, even lead to dangerous or irrational thoughts and actions. If you feel unable to overcome a sense of depression or anxiety, or if you are suicidal, you should seek help immediately — regardless of whether you’ve suffered a severe head injury.
For some people, associated behavioral symptoms may include low energy or fatigue as a lasting result of a concussion. While there are a number of factors that can affect energy levels, including diet and sleep, a sharp shift in your ability to get work done or complete daily tasks could be a sign you have a TBI.
4. Cognitive Difficulties
Brain injuries can cause lasting effects that may lead to trouble with concentration, memory, acting, speaking, and reading — among other cognitive problems. Cognitive difficulties essentially impact the way we think and reason.
For example, difficulty solving problems that you don’t typically find too challenging may be a sign of impaired cognitive function. Your ability to communicate effectively or pay attention to important details may also be impacted by a TBI.
These symptoms alone or in combination can also affect your relationships or ability to work effectively. As with any of the above signs of TBI, cognitive symptoms may point to a more severe medical condition, and could also impact your quality of life.
While the above symptoms are some of the most common, this list is in no way comprehensive and everyone’s body responds differently, so you should always seek the advice of a certified medical professional after suffering an injury to the head. And if you are experiencing more severe symptoms such as disorientation, loss of consciousness, or seizures, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Victims Find the Right Medical Professionals Following a TBI
If you think you may have an undiagnosed TBI, please contact Crosley Law Firm right away for a free, in-depth case review and consultation by calling 210-LAW-3000. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling cases involving head trauma and are eager to help however they can.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.