After a head injury, it’s not unusual to feel sluggish, depressed, and mentally foggy. Each of these are warning signs of a potentially serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). But how exactly can someone determine if their head injury is something more? To help people identify the difference between head injuries and a TBI, we’ve put together these signs and symptoms of a brain injury everyone should know.
Head Injury Vs. Brain Injury
Not all head injuries cause brain injuries, but the majority of brain injuries are a result of a head injury. A brain injury occurs when the force from the head trauma is so severe that it causes the brain to move inside the skull. In minor cases, this can lead to brain bruising and swelling. If the brain hits the inside of the skull, it could cause scraping or tearing, increasing the chances of a long-lasting injury.
In other cases, a head injury can cause a concussion. Although concussions are a minor kind of traumatic brain injury, they can be lethal when left untreated. Keep in mind that even a “minor” concussion can cause brain damage and present long-term complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to take every concussion seriously and seek immediate medical attention.
With that in mind, it’s important that everyone be able to identify the early warning signs of a traumatic brain injury in the three primary ways they manifest: through physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
Brain Injury Warning Signs
Although a brain injury can cause a variety of cognitive and emotional symptoms, some of the more severe injuries carry immediate physical identifiers. For that reason, anyone who experiences the following physical symptoms after a head injury should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Physical symptoms of a brain injury include:
Photophobia (light sensitivity)
Hyperacusis (noise sensitivity)
Physical symptoms often manifest after a concussion and could indicate more extensive damage. If you experience a combination of these symptoms after experiencing head trauma, you should seek medical attention immediately. The longer you wait for treatment, the worse the long-term effects may be.
A brain injury can also cause many cognitive impairments, both short-term and long-term. After a head injury, it’s crucial to identify feelings of mental fog and determine whether it could be symptomatic of a brain injury.
A few cognitive warning signs include:
Feeling slowed down
Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
A TBI can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which is why it’s not unusual to experience a wide range of negative emotions. If these thoughts come on unexpectedly and are paired with other symptoms, it may be wise to consult a doctor.
Those who experience a brain injury may experience feelings of:
Sudden onset depression
Unprovoked irritability or anger
If you experience these unexplained emotions after a head injury, it’s important to recognize them as symptoms of an illness and then seek medical assistance so you can prevent them from interrupting your daily life. These chemical imbalances are unlikely to be repaired on their own and could fundamentally change your quality of life if left untreated.
Any brain injury can carry potentially life-changing complications. For that reason, it’s crucial that those who sustained a TBI due to another’s negligence hire an attorney so they can pursue the justice they need to move forward.
Your attorney can pursue damages for present and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and changes to your quality of life. That compensation can make life easier and help those who experienced a TBI readjust and live more comfortably.
If you experienced a brain injury through no fault of your own, we are here for you. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.