What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Experienced Sports Neurology
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when some external force hits
or jars the head and causes an injury to the brain. Most of the time,
this type of injury occurs during accidents, such as vehicular accidents
or falling and hitting the head. However, any violent blow to the skull
or extreme shaking of the upper body can cause damage. Penetration of
the brain, from an object such as a bullet or a fragment of the skull,
can cause a traumatic brain injury as well.
These types of injuries are very serious. They can result in bruising and
bleeding of the brain, torn tissues, permanent brain damage, and in some
cases - death. Traumatic brain injuries can create a variety of effects,
both physical and psychological. Some of the symptoms may show up immediately,
while others can take days, weeks and sometimes longer to appear.
Some possible symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness for several minutes to several hours
- Headaches that worsen over time
- Drowsiness or dizziness
- dilation of one or both pupils
- Clear fluids that drain from the ears or the nose
- Loss of coordination
- Numb fingers and toes
- Convulsions or seizures
People who have sustained a traumatic brain injury may also suffer from
sensory issues such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and even a
bad taste in the mouth. Sensitivity to light and sound are possible too.
Some of the cognitive symptoms to watch for include memory and concentration
problems, changes in mood, and feelings of anxiety or depression. They
can have slurred speech, combativeness, and a large amount of confusion.
Some of the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Telling someone to be careful is not enough to keep people safe from these
types of injuries. They can stem from a variety of different activities
and actions. Falling-even falling out of bed or slipping in the bathtub-can
result in a blow to the head that can result in cerebral trauma. Vehicle
collisions are another common cause of traumatic brain injury. Participation
in sports is an often talked about as a source of risk for injury and
trauma to the brain.
Boxing, football, hockey, and skateboarding are some of the sports that
are the largest culprits of traumatic brain injury, but any activity that
results in a blow to or jarring of the head can cause it. Violence is
another factor to consider when evaluating these types of injuries. Domestic
violence, child abuse, gunshot wounds, and other types of violent crimes
account for a significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries.
When should you see a doctor?
You should always take the time to see a traumatic brain injury expert
if you or a loved one suffers a blow to the head or forceful jarring of
the body. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of traumatic brain
injury, you should seek emergency medical care.
Brain injuries are easy to ignore, but that can often be a mistake. Traumatic
brain injuries that are moderate or severe should never be ignored. Doing
so can lead to unnecessary and long-term damage.
As a board certified neurologist with 20 years of experience, I, Dr. Vernon
B. Williams, have served as a sport concussion witness for both plaintiff
and defense in medical cases.
For more information on my neurology expertise and how it can be beneficial
to you, please