In 2014, nearly 57,000 deaths in the United States could be attributed to traumatic brain injury. Sometimes that little bump on the head is a bigger deal than you might think. Many people receive a traumatic brain injury and simply write the symptoms off, only to regret it later. If left unchecked, a brain injury is liable to lead to severe consequences, so here are six of the biggest signs that you may have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
Memories are formed in the brain, so if you’re having a hard time remembering something that you would have easily remembered before, there’s a good chance that you’ve had a brain injury. If you hit your head and cannot clearly recall the events that happened for some time surrounding the event, then you almost certainly have a brain injury. Even when the brain heals, don’t expect to have a clear memory of the events surrounding the injury. If you feel that you may have received a traumatic brain injury, see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, a traumatic brain injury causes the brain to bleed. While this may not be apparent right away, it will likely lead to death. When it comes to checking on your brain, time is of the essence.
2. Difficulty Learning
New information can be incredibly hard to retain in the wake of brain trauma. Many people who receive traumatic brain injuries have to take time off from work or school as they recover, as their cognitive abilities are just not the same as their brain recovers. With proper rest and rehabilitation, cognitive function can slowly improve, and in the cases of minor brain trauma, your mental abilities can return to normal. Seeing a doctor sooner rather than later is the only way to ensure the best outcome for your mental function.
3. Chronic Headaches
When your head receives trauma, it is likely to hurt for a while afterward. Who would have thought? For individuals who have a history of chronic headaches, it may be harder to notice this symptom, but you shouldn’t write a headache off as “just another one.” There are a few telltale signs that a headache is a result of head trauma over something else. Individuals with brain trauma often report abnormal sensitivity to lights, and it is not uncommon for normal, everyday sounds to trigger an intense headache as well.
Brain trauma is often followed by intense nausea and the inability to keep food down. Sometimes, this nausea can come seemingly out of nowhere. Typical nausea is often accompanied by symptoms such as fever, bloating, and other signs of infection as a result of food consumption, but nausea from brain trauma will manifest in the absence of food. Even if you don’t know the cause of this symptom, nausea is a pretty good reason to see a doctor. If you don’t test positive for brain trauma, then there’s likely something else that’s causing your nausea, so it’s worth checking out.
It’s common for individuals with traumatic brain injuries to feel like the world is spinning around them. Sometimes, patients will feel excessive dizziness upon sitting or standing. Your body’s ability to balance is strongly contingent on a healthy brain, so damage tot eh brain can throw this normal function out of whack. Even if your dizziness is not caused by brain trauma, it’s likely still pretty serious!
6. Emotional Changes
This symptom can be a little harder to detect, but it’s important to look out for nonetheless. After a brain injury, the parts of your brain that control self-regulating behaviors, happiness, anger, and all your other emotions may be damaged. This can lead to bouts of sadness, frustration, anger, or doom seemingly out of nowhere. Generally, if you notice sudden emotional changes, it’s a good idea to go to the doctor. Even if you don’t think that you’ve been hit on the head recently, emotional changes can take a huge toll on your happiness, job performance, and general daily functioning. By seeing a qualified medical professional for this symptom, you can uncover the cause and work towards a solution.