How to Recognize TBI Symptoms (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) results from some sort of blow or strike to the head. TBI is characterized by disruption of proper brain function (usually a loss of consciousness or memory impairment), and can range greatly in degree and symptoms. TBI symptoms can be as minor as a brief loss of consciousness or disorientation or may be as life-changing as extended loss of consciousness or serious memory impairment/amnesia.

StepsEdit

  1. 1
    Be alert for TBI symptoms following any of the following events:
    • A car or motorcycle accident
    • A fight or assault
    • A fall or episode in which the head hit a hard surface or was hit by something hard
  2. 2
    Watch for symptoms of TBI for a few weeks to a couple of months after any of the above events. TBI symptoms may be hard to recognize and can take some time to show up. When the brain is bruised the bruise will keep spreading, thereby worsening symptoms before it starts to heal.
    • Someone with TBI may look OK, but not act or feel right.
    • Symptoms often vary between children and adults. See below for guidance regarding symptoms particular to children.
  3. 3
    Look out for common symptoms:
    • Headaches of unusually long duration.
    • Persistent head pain in a specific area of the head. (Not headache)
    • Persistent neck pain. Sometimes whiplash accompanies brain injury.
    • Memory impairment / amnesia.
    • Disorientation, being lost, forgetting where you are, forgetting how to get home.
    • Issues with decision making or concentrating.
    • Lessening of inhibition, saying inappropriate things in inappropriate places.
    • Forgetting where you are and how to get home.
    • Forgetting how to do simple tasks such as tying shoes or buttoning buttons.
    • Ringing in the ears.
    • Dizziness.
    • Balance problems.
    • Decreased coordination.
    • Confusion.
    • Difficulty knowing directions i.e. up, down, left, right and getting your body to move in the direction you want.
    • Aphasia or Dysphasia; language disorders that impair language comprehension and expression. It often doesn't affect "thinking" and "intelligence", only language.
    • Slurred speech.
    • Fatigue, lack of motivation, reduced energy.
    • Light/noise sensitivity, sometimes to the point of triggering seizure.
    • Disruption of normal sleep schedule (more or less sleep than usual) and trouble falling asleep.
    • Nausea/vomiting.
    • Vision problems (blurring, double vision, eye fatigue)
  4. 4
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Symptoms in ChildrenEdit

  1. 1
    Note that TBI symptoms vary between children and adults. Very small children also may lack the ability to explain what they are experiencing. Take your child to the doctor if you see any of the above symptoms or the following after any blow to the head.
    • Child is inconsolable/continues to cry
    • Excessive irritability
    • Child refuses to nurse or does not eat
    • Fatigue or lack of interest in usual activities
    • Issues with balance or unsteadiness when walking
    • Loss of recently-learned skills (e.g., potty training)
    • School problems
    • Sleep disruption
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Community Q&A

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  • I hit my head slightly by my hairline. It just feels weird and it's beating in the spot by my sideburns. What do I do?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Take some NSAIDs and try to cool it and rest it. Since you say it was a slight hit, it is unlikely that you would suffer neurological problems. Should you still feel weird, even a few hours later, and it gets worse or you just want to make sure that everything is fine, then go see a doctor.
    Thanks! 0 0
  • What about falling asleep after banging my head?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • This may signify concussion after a previous blow to the head. If the sleep is extended, or if the sleeper vomits or fits in their sleep, take them to the ER.
    Thanks! 0 0
  • What are some emotional symptoms of a TBI?
    Answered by Brian Salazar-Prince, Top Answerer
    • The emotional symptoms of a TBI vary depending upon the part of the brain that is damaged, but they can include depression, confusion, anxiety, fear, and developmental reversion.
    Thanks! 0 0
  • Can two people suffer a concussion by hitting their heads together?
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WarningsEdit

  • All brain injuries are different and most doctors don't know enough about it to treat it properly. A doctor can choose to be a specialist in Traumatic Brain Injury without any special training or special knowledge of TBI. It is absolutely vital that you work only with Board Certified Doctors when choosing your specialists. For a doctor to become board certified is not an easy task. It requires a lot of special training, testing, and peer review.
    5 Helpful?  1
  • Although individuals who sustain brain injuries must have timely access to expert trauma care, TBI is a misunderstood, poorly treated, and under-funded neurological disease.
    5 Helpful?  2
  • TBI can be severe and lead to lifelong complications. Early treatment is your best protection against potentially serious problems.
    4 Helpful?  2

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