What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are generally caused by an external force to the head or body, such as a blow or jolt. These injuries can be severe and life-altering and oftentimes result from automobile accidents and workplace accidents. TBIs are categorized as either mild, moderate, or severe. A mild traumatic brain injury is a bit of a misnomer, as the results of even a minor type of TBI can cause a significant impact on someone’s everyday routine. The most common type of mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion.
Mild TBIs may involve a brief loss of consciousness, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. Post-traumatic amnesia may also be present for an hour or less following the injury
Symptoms that may present early on following a mild TBI include:
- Visual disturbances
- Lack of awareness
After suffering a mild TBI, additional symptoms can occur later on as well, such as:
- Difficulty focusing or paying attention
- Sensitivity to light and loud noises
- Ringing in the ears
It can be difficult to determine whether your symptoms are due to a TBI or another injury sustained in your accident. This is why it is crucial to see a doctor as soon as you can after an automobile accident or on the job accident. A check-up from a medical professional will help determine the extent of your injuries and what treatment you should receive thereafter. Delaying medical treatment can be extremely detrimental to your health and your potential personal injury case. Insurance companies will perceive a delay or gap in treatment as your injury not being all that serious, which could decrease the value of settlement offers and the amount that you hope to recover.
Recovering from a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Every brain injury case is unique and can affect people differently. For many people, recovery is swift and symptoms can resolve within a week. Unfortunately for others, symptoms can persist for weeks or months. The Brain Injury Association offers the following information for those suffering from a mild TBI:
- Some days will be easier than others when recovering from a brain injury. Try not to overwork yourself on days when you are feeling good.
- Limiting the use of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can help the recovery process. Alcohol consumption following even a mild traumatic brain injury can have negative consequences on your health and lead to dependency or abuse.
- Daily tasks may take longer to complete and be increasingly taxing, physically and mentally. Give yourself additional time to complete everyday things like shopping, laundry, and other chores.
- Seek professional help from a brain injury specialist and learn more about your injury through books and online resources. Knowing the extent of your injury and what to fully expect can help in the recovery process.
- Join a support group of others experiencing a similar injury as yours. Talking about your injury with others going through the same struggles can be helpful when recovering from a brain injury.
Prevalence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
In recent years, research has been conducted and brought forward regarding a condition caused by repetitive brain injuries, especially in athletes. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive trauma to the brain. According to the Concussion Foundation, CTE symptoms usually start to appear years after the initial head impacts.
Early symptoms of CTE include changes in mood and behavior, such as impulse control problems, depression, paranoia, and aggression. A person suffering from CTE will start to develop more severe, cognitive symptoms in their 40s and 50s, including memory loss, impaired judgment, confusion, and dementia.
The results of research over recent years has revealed that repeated concussive incidents are not the only cause of CTE. Evidence has shown that smaller blows to the head, or subconcussive impacts, are perhaps the biggest factor in CTE development. Subconcussive injuries oftentimes do not result in immediate symptoms, but over time, the repetitive damage to the brain can add up. Athletes that are exposed to head impacts at a younger age and over a longer playing career are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
In addition to athletes, victims of domestic abuse and members of the military have also been diagnosed with CTE.
Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury of any severity following an accident, call Thomas J. Henry. After an accident, it is vital to seek medical attention to determine the severity of your injuries. Brain injuries, even those deemed minor, can have long lasting effects on a victim of an accident. Our attorneys have experience handling all types of accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and a history of achieving real results for our injured clients. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free legal consultation. Contact our law offices today.