The Causes and Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that can occur after someone suffers a blow, jolt or bump to the head, or when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year 1.7 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury, and a TBI is a contributing factor in about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the country.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the causes of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Falls, such as down steps, from a ladder, or slipping in the bathtub
  • Car, bicycle or motorcycle accidents
  • Acts of violence, such as spousal or child abuse
  • Injuries from playing sports like football, boxing, baseball and hockey

These common causes of brain injuries can result in mild, moderate or severe TBIs.

The Effects of TBI

Those who suffer from TBI can be at risk for a number of health problems that may be physical, emotional or both.

Physical effects. Some of the physical effects of TBI include nausea, headaches, blurry vision, dizziness and seizures. In the most extreme cases, someone with a TBI may suffer from a gradual degeneration of brain cells, which can lead to conditions like dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Cognitive effects. After suffering from a TBI, patients may experience cognitive challenges such as difficulties with memory, concentration and problem solving abilities. Patients may also have issues with executive functioning, which affects goal setting, planning and evaluation.

Emotional effects. After suffering from a TBI, many people suffer from lack of motivation, or may develop anxiety or depression. In some cases, patients have noticeable changes in personality, such as becoming verbally or physically abusive.

Communication effects. Many TBI patients have problems with social communication after their injuries. As a result, they have problems with things like reading the nonverbal cues of other people, staying on topic in a conversation and using the appropriate tone of voice.

Recovering From a TBI

If you've suffered from a blow to the head and suspect that you may have a traumatic brain injury, go to a doctor immediately. If you do have a TBI, be sure to get a lot of rest, avoid physically demanding activities, stay away from alcoholic beverages and take your time in returning to your normal routine.

If you or a loved one suffered a TBI as a result of the negligence of another person, speak with a personal injury attorney about seeking compensation for your injury.