Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In the resulting confusion from an accident, it can be difficult to discern whether or not you are suffering from a TBI. It is always a good idea to seek medical attention post-accident, but there are some clear-cut signs that indicate you may have a TBI.
How accidents cause TBIs
TBIs are caused by the sudden bumping, jolting, striking or piercing of the skull. Obviously, if an object has pierced the skull during a car accident, there is an immediate need for medical assistance. TBIs that do not involve observable injury can be harder to detect.
Mild TBI symptoms
Most often, mild brain injuries only temporarily affect the individual and heal over time. Headaches are common first signs of TBI and can happen immediately after a motor vehicle accident. Other symptoms can include:
- Physical symptoms including nausea, vomiting, dizziness and ringing in the ears
- Mental symptoms including brain fog, sleepiness or memory issues
- Emotional symptoms including anxiety, depression or agitation
Moderate to severe TBI symptoms
Moderate to severe brain injuries are much more serious and require immediate attention. There may be brain bleeding, bruising in the brain and fluids draining from the ears or nose. Long-term damage can result. Symptoms can include:
- Inability to see or speak
- Loss of muscle control and numbness in the limbs
- Loss of consciousness or coma
Treatment for TBI
Immediate treatment is the best course of action for a good long-term prognosis with any TBI. Keep in mind that symptoms might not appear immediately, and early treatment can reduce symptoms that may develop long after your accident.