What’s The Difference Between a TBI and a Concussion?

The brain is one of the most complex areas of the body. Any injury it sustains can lead to a lifetime of complications, affecting the victim both cognitively and physically. Although modern medicine continues to make great strides in understanding the brain and how it works, much about brain injuries still remains a mystery. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change a patient’s life significantly, and even a minor TBI like a concussion can affect one’s quality of life for weeks, months or years.

Traumatic brain injuries range from mild to severe, with concussions on the mild end of the TBI spectrum. You can experience a TBI without having a concussion, but you can’t have a concussion without experiencing a traumatic brain injury.

What are traumatic brain injuries?

A TBI occurs when a bump, blow or jolt to the head disrupts normal brain function. A person can also suffer a TBI if an object penetrates the skull. This sudden impact causes the brain to move inside the skull, causing bruising and damage. There are a wide variety of causes of traumatic brain injuries, including:

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of TBIs tend to fall into four types of categories.

  1. Thinking
  2. Physical
  3. Emotional
  4. Sleep

When someone suffers a TBI, they will likely experience disturbances in one or more of these categories, including things like difficulty concentrating, headaches, anxiety, trouble sleeping or nausea. Symptoms may show up immediately, or not for a few days.

What are concussions?

Many people believe that you need to be knocked unconscious in order to suffer a concussion, but most people actually don’t “black out.” Like other traumatic brain injuries, concussion symptoms may show up immediately after the injury or take a few days to manifest. Although concussions are on the minor end of the TBI spectrum, anyone who suffers a head injury should seek medical treatment.

Research shows that even mild multiple concussions and TBIs can cause cumulative damage, leading to cognitive impairment and even neurodegenerative disease later in life.

If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, the Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears are here to help. Concussions and TBIs are serious injuries and you deserve serious representation. To schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers, contact us or call 405-212-9234.