Traumatic Brain Injury – What It Is, Why It Happens

Traumatic Brain Injury – What It Is, Why It HappensOur brains are incredibly complex. The medical and scientific communities make frequent breakthroughs in understanding how it works, but researchers agree that much of the knowledge about our brains still remains a mystery.

Although modern medicine makes great strides every day in diagnosing and treating brain injuries, there’s still a lot to understand about the long-term effects. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can alter a person’s life in an instant and forever, and even just a moderate injury can enormously affect quality of living.

What causes a brain injury?

Your brain floats in the skull surrounded by a cushion of fluid. Because it’s not rigidly attached, if your head is subjected to force, the brain can easily be thrown against the skull and injured. It can literally be tossed around. In the past, we didn’t tend to take moderate (or even small) hits to the head too seriously, but medical professionals now understand that blows to the head can cause long-lasting damage.

Leading causes of TBI include car accidents, blunt trauma, sports injuries, falls, or firearms. With the exception of firearms, these types of brain injuries are called closed-head injuries. A firearms-type of injury is an open-head injury, where a foreign object penetrates the skull and brain.

What are the effects of a TBI?

Just as no two brains are alike, neither are two brain injuries. And, depending on the person, the effects and recovery time from a brain injury can be completely different. Some people will recover within a few weeks or months. Some may never recover fully at all. A patient with a serious TBI may experience severe cognitive issues or other more immediate symptoms like unconsciousness, or blood from the nose or ears.

However, even a moderate TBI can cause serious problems, like:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures

Some of these symptoms can resolve in weeks, but some could last for months or years. With more severe TBIs, symptoms can be permanent and cause the patient lifelong disability—disrupting career, family, and relationships. And unfortunately, the seriousness of some brain injuries may not be noticed immediately.

Traumatic brain injury can show up on diagnostic imaging like CT scans and MRIs. However, mild or moderate TBIs may not show up on these tests and can only be detected through professional observation and cognitive tests. This is why it’s crucial that if you or anyone suffers an injury or blow to the head, no matter how minor it may seem, a medical professional assesses it.

Traumatic brain injuries can have lasting consequences, affecting health and quality of life. If you suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, rely on the brain injury lawyers at Cunningham & Mears. For a free consultation at our Oklahoma City office, call 405-232-1212 or fill out our contact form today.

Related Brain Injury Articles