Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a broad term encompassing any injury to the brain caused by an external force, such as a blow or jolt to the head. Concussions, a type of TBI, are among the most common brain injuries, affecting millions yearly. However, many people are unsure whether a concussion counts as a TBI. It is common that car wrecks, truck wrecks, and falls are common causes of a concussion.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of TBI that occurs when the brain is jerked or shaken inside the skull, causing an impermanent distraction in normal brain function. This often happens due to a blow to the head, a fall, or any other trauma that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth, such as in a car accident or truck collision. The sudden movement causes the brain to bounce or twist within the skull, damaging brain cells and the surrounding tissue.
A concussion is a type of TBI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as “a disruption in normal brain function caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury.” A concussion fits this definition, as it is a type of brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The symptoms of a concussion vary depending on the severity of the injury and differ for each individual. Some people may experience symptoms immediately after the injury, while others may not experience symptoms until several hours or even days later. Common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Headaches: This is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion. The headache may be mild to severe, lasting several hours or days.
- Dizziness or vertigo: Dizziness or a feeling of spinning or lightheadedness may occur after a concussion. This may make it difficult to walk or maintain balance.
- Nausea or vomiting: A concussion may cause nausea or vomiting, which can last for several hours after the injury.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired or exhausted is a common symptom of a concussion. This may be due to the brain’s increased effort to heal.
- Sensitivity to light and noise: A concussion may cause light and noise sensitivity. Loud noises or bright lights can worsen the headache and worsen other symptoms.
- Confusion or disorientation: Confusion or disorientation is another common concussion symptom. A person may feel dazed or confused and have trouble remembering what happened before or after the injury.
- Memory problems: Memory problems are common after a concussion. A person may have trouble remembering events that occurred before or after the injury.
- Changes in mood or behavior: A concussion may cause changes in mood or behavior. A person may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed.
- Blurred or double vision: A concussion may cause vision problems, including blurred or double vision.
It’s important to note that not all symptoms may be present after a concussion, and some symptoms may not appear until several hours or days after the injury. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms after a head injury, seek medical attention right away.
Who Is at Risk for Concussions and TBIs?
Anyone can experience a concussion or TBI, but certain groups are at higher risk than others. Especially if you have been involved in a car accident, truck accident, or fall. These include:
- Athletes, particularly those who participate in contact sports like football, hockey, or boxing
- Military personnel, particularly those who have been deployed to combat zones or who have experienced blast injuries
- Children and adolescents, whose developing brains may be more vulnerable to injury
- Older adults, who may be at increased risk for falls or other accidents that could result in a TBI
If you’re among this category of people, remember to see a medical professional as soon as you experience any concussion symptoms.
Will a Concussion Cause Long-Term Effects?
While most people who experience a concussion fully recover within a few days to a few weeks, some may experience long-term effects. These may include persistent headaches, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and changes in mood or behavior.
- Cognitive impairment, such as problems with memory, attention, or executive function
- Emotional and behavioral changes, such as depression, anxiety, or irritability
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Sleep disturbances
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
It’s important to note that the severity and duration of these effects vary widely from person to person and may depend on factors such as the severity of the injury, the location of the injury in the brain, and the individual’s overall health.
How Are Concussions Treated?
The treatment for a concussion usually involves rest and monitoring for symptoms. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage headaches or other symptoms. It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully and to avoid activities that could further injure the brain, such as contact sports or activities that could result in another blow to the head.
Are Concussions Preventable?
While concussions cannot always be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing a TBI. These include wearing helmets or protective gear when participating in sports or other high-risk activities, practicing safe driving habits and wearing your seatbelt, and taking steps to prevent falls, such as keeping your home free of clutter and using handrails on stairs.
Contact an Experienced Texas TBI Lawyer
If you suspect you or someone you know has a concussion, seek medical attention right away. Remember to take steps to prevent TBIs whenever possible, and to take care of your brain by getting plenty of rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. By taking these steps, you may protect your brain and reduce your risk of experiencing a TBI.
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI or any other type of personal injury due to the negligence of another, don’t wait to get the help you need. Reach out to us here at Dale R. Rose, PLLC, for advice and legal representation. We have a proven track record of success in helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Call us at (972) 634-ROSE (7673) or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.