A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can easily overwhelm a family psychologically and physically. TBI symptoms, which are easily overlooked, can make matters even worse and will sometimes be so discreet and hidden that doctors will fail to diagnose them. If these signs and symptoms are ignored, untreated brain symptoms may contribute to more intense brain damage, disability, or even death.
Mild symptoms of TBI Concussion
Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms, sometimes referred to as a concussion, are less obvious and vary depending on the victim. Someone suffering from a concussion may only be unconscious for a few seconds or minutes, or they may not be knocked out at all. Actually, someone who experiences a mild brain injury may only be stunned momentarily or, surprisingly, remain fully aware of their surroundings.
Some generally mild TBI symptoms include lightheadedness, unconsciousness for no more than thirty (40) minutes, part-time memory loss, blurry eyesight, foul taste in mouth, and confusion. Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms or signs of TBI might not show up right away; since these symptoms are often triggered by inflammation of the brain, which occurs at a slow rate, days or even weeks may go by before there are any signs of these symptoms. Any evidence of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, severe headaches, daydreaming, or memory loss can indicate more severe, long-term brain damage.
Instant mild TBI symptoms
- Temporary memory loss
- Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)
- Slurred speech
- Unconsciousness (under 40 minutes)
- Dilated pupils
Secondary mild TBI symptoms
- Mood swings
- Intense headaches/migraines
- Inability to sleep
- More serious memory loss
- Noticeable difference in the way things smell and taste
- Attention problems
- Sensitivity to bright light and loud noise
Moderate to severe symptoms of TBI
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury symptoms or TBI signs are more defined and include headaches that intensify or linger, unconsciousness for greater than 40 minutes, nausea and/or vomiting, bowel control problems, slurred speech, memory loss, seizures, dilation of at least one pupil, and paralysis or lack of sensation in extremities.
Bleeding inside the head, or intracranial bleeding, is also a common side effect. The amount of intracranial bleeding is measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography scan (CT scan), or intracranial pressure monitor (ICP). This sort of internal bleeding can have horrible implications because even if it is addressed, it can contribute to chronic problems and even death.
People suffering from moderate to severe brain injury often enter a comatose state and may never regain consciousness. A coma is a very serious complication which stems from TBI, but once a victim reaches a state of coma, it does not mean that they are definitely going to die. TBI patients can be in a coma for days or weeks before reacting to any outside stimulation. Physicians gauge comas with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) or the Rancho Los Amigos Coma Scale. These two scales serve as a guide to figure out the level of a coma’s severity and whether the victim has a chance to come out of it.
Instant moderate to severe TBI symptoms
- Unconsciousness (greater than 40 minutes)
- Breathing at a slower pace
- Dilated pupils
- Blurry eyesight or total loss of vision
- Reduced heart rate
- Severe headache or migraine
- Ringing of the ears or worsened hearing
Secondary moderate to severe TBI symptoms
- Spinal fluid (clear liquid) excreted from ears or nose (indicates severe brain injury)
- Jumbled speech
- Loss of feeling in extremities (indicates severe brain injury)
- Coma (indicates severe brain injury)
- Paralysis (indicates severe brain injury)
- Emotional instability (e.g., short temper, depression)
- Inability to verbally communicate
- No control over bowels (indicates severe brain injury)
- Epilepsy or seizures (indicates severe brain injury)
Symptoms related to mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries or TBI are not easy to pinpoint. The slightest of symptoms may not appear immediately and can be hiding serious brain damage. Thus, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention to diagnose, treat, and help the victim deal with potential traumatic brain injury or TBI. If you or a loved one have suffered what you believe to be a traumatic brain injury or TBI from an accident, contact our firm to speak with an experienced accident injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve to help get you through this devastating injury.