How can I know if I have suffered a traumatic brain injury?

If you are seriously concerned that you might have a brain injury, please seek medical advice right away. Only a trained and educated health care provider can make a firm diagnosis that you can trust. Also, seeking diagnosis as early as possible is the very best way to begin the brain injury treatment and recovery process.

With that said, the most effective way to answer your question is to talk about brain injury and provide you with information about its symptoms. As with other kinds of injury, the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can vary from person to person. If a mild TBI has occurred, here are some of the most commonly-reported symptoms:

-- Losing consciousness for up to several minutes

-- Headache, nausea and vomiting

-- Dizziness, lightheadedness and confusion

-- Blurry vision and sensitivity to light

-- Ear ringing and sensitivity to sound

-- Difficulty thinking, paying attention, concentrating and remembering

A person who has suffered a moderate or severe TBI may experience some of the symptoms discussed above. However, the victim may also suffer from additional symptoms including:

-- Losing consciousness for up to several hours

-- Seizures, convulsions and slurred speech

-- Worsening headache

-- Pupil enlargement in one or both eyes

-- Increasing confusion or agitation

-- Numbness in the arms or legs

-- Difficulty awaking from sleep

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or any other unusual symptoms, please get medical attention right away. If your brain injury occurred because of another party's negligence, you will probably want to talk with a professional about a legal remedy at some point. However, seeking a proper diagnosis and a subsequent treatment plan should be your first priority.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services | National Institutes of Health, "What are common TBI symptoms?," accessed Sep. 13, 2016

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