Traumatic brain injuries are not reserved for football players and other athletes. Anyone who receives a sudden jolt or blow to the head can become a victim of this type of brain damage. In fact, it happens more often than some may think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.87 million people checked into the hospital, visited the emergency room or died as a result of traumatic brain injuries during a one year period. Car accidents are the second-leading cause of brain injuries hospitalizations across the country.

When the brain hits the hard bone of the skull, it can bruise and bleed. As time goes on, swelling and inflammation of the brain can create increased pressure within the skull cavity. All of these things can lead to further tissue damage and potential long-lasting damage. It is important to know how to identify the signs of brain trauma so you can seek immediate medical help. This could minimize the amount of brain damage you experience.

According to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, signs of mild traumatic brain injury may consist of the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness, confusion and light-headedness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Mood changes, depression, fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Tingling in the extremities and muscle weakness
  • Trouble speaking and difficulty understanding language

People who have moderate to severe cases of TBI may experience seizures, unconsciousness, headaches that increase in intensity, trouble swallowing, slurred speech and sensory deficits. Each patient may exhibit a different set of symptoms depending on the area of injury as well as the severity of the injury.

Through CAT Scans and Diffusion Tensor Imaging, medical professionals can spot the areas of damage and create a treatment plan to maximize recovery.