A traumatic brain injury can occur following a violent jolt or blow to the head or another part of the body. Although a mild TBI will only affect the brain’s cells temporarily, a serious TBI can result in bleeding, torn tissues, bruising and other long-term complications.
Brain injuries are common and often happen after falls or vehicle collisions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2018, 223,050 people in the U.S. went to the hospital for a brain injury.
The symptoms of a TBI can be physical, emotional, cognitive and sensory. For example, if you have a brain injury, you may have a persistent headache and not be able to stand because of balance issues. You could also feel depressed and anxious, have a hard time sleeping, lose consciousness, become extremely sensitive to lights and sounds and have a hard time with your memory and concentrating. Some of these symptoms may show up right away while others may take time to develop.
When to see a doctor
You should see a physician immediately following a vehicle accident or any other type of accident where you hit your head. If your symptoms persist, or you notice new symptoms a few days or even a few weeks after the accident, see your doctor again.
You may not be able to return to your normal routines for a while following the onset of a TBI. Give yourself time to heal, follow your physician’s recovery instructions and report any new symptoms as quickly as possible.