Because the brain is so instrumental in every aspect of body function, each head trauma should be treated seriously. Individuals in Illinois should know that children and the elderly are the most susceptible to traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, even a “mild” concussion can cause problems for a person of any age.
The Mayo Clinic reports that most often, TBIs are caused by a blow to the head in a fall. Falling out of bed, off a ladder, down the stairs or in the bathroom are the specific types of falls that frequently send people to the emergency room. Motor vehicle crashes also cause significant numbers of TBI each year. Although many injuries are the result of the head hitting an object such as the steering wheel, a window or something inside the car, the brain can be injured from the force of the impact when the head whips back and forth violently.
A TBI may or may not cause immediate symptoms. It depends on the type of damage and where it occurs, as well as other factors. For example, if small blood vessels are torn, then gradually pooling blood or a loosening clot could cause brain damage days or weeks after the accident. However, many head traumas manifest immediately through symptoms that may include the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- One or both pupils dilated
- Slurred speech
Anyone who displays these signs should receive medical attention right away. Delayed symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or staying awake, muscle weakness, mood changes, headache and blurry vision should also prompt a visit to a doctor.