Each year, more than 2.5 million people suffer some type of brain injury. Of those, an estimated 52,000 die as a result of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Brain injuries have many causes, and the symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Types of Brain Injury
There are several types of brain injury ranging from mild bumps to severe or debilitating trauma. The most common types of brain injury are:
· Concussion: Mild injury that usually does not cause permanent damage.
· Contusion: A bruise to a specific part of the brain. Caused by direct impact to the head.
· Diffuse Axonal Injury: Nerve cells shear and stretch at the cellular level. Caused by the brain moving quickly back and forth inside the skull.
· Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Bleeding in the space between the brain and the skull.
· Hematoma: A blood clot caused by ruptured blood vessels. Large clots may cause pressure on the brain.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
The symptoms of a brain injury often depend on the type of injury and how severe it is. Sometimes the symptoms will also depend on the part of the brain that is affected. As a general rule, the symptoms of a brain injury may resemble:
Mild Brain Injuries:
· Memory problems.
Moderate Brain Injuries:
· Blurred vision
· Difficulty speaking
· Personality changes
Severe Brain Injuries:
· Loss of consciousness
· Slurred speech
· Persistent headache
Someone with a TBI may experience any combination of these symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of a brain injury should get medical attention. If left untreated, brain injuries can cause permanent damage, disability, or death.