Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is sudden deterioration or destruction to the brain cells, affecting the brain’s normal functioning. This blog will share fascinating insights on the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and various treatment options of traumatic brain injury.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) disrupts the brain’s normal functioning, affecting the patient’s cognitive abilities, involving thinking and learning skills.
- According to the Brain Injury Association of America, about 2.6 million Americans suffer from several brain injury types.
- One of the primary symptoms of TBI is the obvious bleeding of your scalp, nose, face, or ears. But in some cases, it can happen even without any external symptoms of trauma.
- TBI’s significant causes may include vehicle accidents, sports-related injuries, blows to the head, and physical violence.
- Your medical team will recommend surgical or nonsurgical treatment to treat traumatic brain injury according to your surgery’s severity or extent.
- In most cases, rehabilitation is required to recover and relearn skills in people suffering from moderate to severe TBI.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBI is sudden deterioration or destruction to the brain cells caused by a jolt or blow to the head. It disrupts the brain’s normal function affecting the patient’s cognitive abilities, involving thinking and learning skills. Falling, car or motorcycle accidents, sports injuries, and assaults can cause TBI’s. Some of the injuries are mild concussions that produce dizziness or headaches that can heal within a few days. Some TBI’s can create permanent or severe long-term effects on the person’s physical and mental ability, personality, and emotions. In most cases, rehabilitation is required to recover and relearn skills in people suffering from moderate to severe TBI.
If you are experiencing a head injury, your health care provider will perform several tests to diagnose a TBI. Mild TBI can improve without long-term damage. Severe TBI types may need medical management, emergency surgical treatment, and long-term rehabilitation.
“According to the Brain Injury Association of America, about 2.6 million people in the U.S. suffer from various brain injury types. About 52,000 people are victims of traumatic brain injury, and more than 5 million Americans who’ve experienced traumatic brain injury need assistance in performing daily routine activities. According to the National Stroke Association, approximately 130,000 Americans die of stroke every year.”
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Your head contains more blood vessels as compared to your other body parts. Hence, you may undergo obvious bleeding of your scalp, nose, face, or ears. However, TBI can happen even without any external symptoms of trauma. It is critical to check other signs as well. You may immediately notice the symptoms after undergoing the injury, or you can have a delay of several days before the effects of the brain injury are apparent.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Neck pain.
- Muscle weakness or trouble walking.
- Visual problems.
- Loss of balance.
- Breathing problems.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
When your brain does not get oxygen for an extended period, it may lead to brain damage. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may happen because of any trauma type affecting the brain. It may also occur due to a broad range of illnesses, injuries, or conditions. Events that may lead to the TBI may include:
- Car or motorcycle accidents.
- Blows to the head.
- Sports-related injuries.
- Falls or accidents.
- Physical violence.
Diagnosis of TBI
The utilization of several different methods can diagnose TBI. After the confirmation of TBI in a person, your medical team will evaluate the brain injury’s severity and extent. Your healthcare expert will assess your signs after asking about your medical history and performing a physical examination. Your physical examination will involve an assessment of your hearing and vision. Your doctor may ask you to undergo the brain imaging test, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized imaging (CTI). He may suggest neuropsychological and concussion testing in some cases.
Treatment Options for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
For several patients with moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, surgery is performed urgently. The primary purpose of surgery is to remove contusion or hematoma, which is responsible for raising the pressure within the skull or compressing the brain. After surgery, doctors keep the patients under observation in the ICU with additional care.
In some patients, doctors do not perform immediate surgery since hematomas and contusion may increase in the first few hours or days after head injury. Delayed hematomas may be identified when a patient’s neurological exam worsens or when their ICP rises. In such cases, surgery is recommended after several days of their injury.
2. Non-Surgical Treatments
In mild traumatic brain injury, patients need to do proper rest and utilize over-the-counter pain relievers for treating a headache. Besides, close monitoring is required for any new, persistent, or worsening symptoms. It is advisable to limit physical or thinking activities that may adversely affect you. Also, patients are required to visit doctors timely.
- Emergency Care
Immediate emergency care is required for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. It ensures that the person has enough oxygen and a sufficient blood supply. It helps maintain blood pressure and prevent further damage to the head or neck.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications that will help prevent secondary damage to the brain immediately after an injury. Some of these medications may include diuretics, anti-seizure drugs, coma-inducing drugs.
People who have suffered from significant brain injury need rehabilitation. They may want to relearn all necessary skills, including talking, walking, etc. This approach’s primary goal is to help patients improve their abilities for performing daily routine activities.
Your doctor will suggest the type of treatment after analyzing your injury’s severity. People suffering from minor head injuries do not face lasting consequences. But, patients experiencing severe head injuries may face permanent changes in their physical abilities, personality, and thinking skills. Some head injuries can be particularly concerning. Your medical team will ensure that you are getting the correct treatment and have as full of a recovery as possible.