A traumatic brain injury (TBI) results when a traumatic event results in harm to the brain. Car accidents, falls, sports injuries can all cause TBIs.
Some TBIs are mild, resulting in headaches or dizziness that improve on their own within a few days. However, TBI can also cause serious long-term effects (such as physical paralysis or personality changes), particularly if multiple damaged areas in the brain.
If you suspect that you may have a brain injury, you may need to do a few tests to be diagnosed with a TBI, including:
- A physical examination
- Brain imaging
- Neuropsychiatric evaluation.
Sometimes a TBI can heal without long-term consequences. Serious TBIs may need surgical treatment, medical management, and long-term rehab.
A variety of symptoms can happen as a result of a TBI. You may notice the symptoms right after experiencing the trauma, or they are delayed several weeks before the effects of the brain injury are noticeable.
Effects of a minor TBI can settle in a few hours. Severe TBIs, however, are more likely to cause prolonged effects that can last for weeks, months, or even years.
Types of traumatic brain injuries
There are many types of traumatic brain injury, but they fall into two main categories: penetrating or closed.
Closed head injuries refer to the head being hit hard enough to injure the brain without direct touch.However, this type of traumatic brain injury doesn’t have to come from a direct hit. It can also come from shockwaves, such as an explosion or shaken violently, like shaken baby syndrome.
Penetrating brain injuries are the ones that result from gunshot wounds and impaled objects. They’re less common than closed head injuries and much more straightforward: Something enters the skull and damages brain tissue directly.
Closed traumatic brain injuries
Closed injuries are more complex and have numerous different signs and symptoms. The diverse types of closed traumatic brain injury can include:
Concussions: the most commonly found types of traumatic brain injuries; concussions are generally considered minor, but experiencing multiple concussions has been associated with an increased chance of brain conditions later in life.
Epidural hematomas: These are potentially severe types of traumatic brain injury. Epidural hematomas happen when blood collects between the hard covering of the brain and the skull, resulting in additional pressure put on the brain. Often, it may be tricky to tell the difference between a concussion and an epidural hematoma.
Subdural hematomas: Subdural hematomas are comparable to epidural hematomas, but they don’t always cause noticeable neurological problems as quickly.
Subdural hematomas are generally found in those who are taking blood thinners or experience alcoholism.
Cerebral aneurysm: A cerebral aneurysm is a weak blood vessel in the brain that can potentially burst unexpectedly. It’s difficult to tell why an aneurysm ruptures.
The differences in symptoms of every type of traumatic brain injury are tricky. A diagnosis is virtually impossible without the proper equipment.
Finding help for traumatic brain injuries
The team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California, has extensive experience performing in-depth neuropsychological testing to determine the extent and location of your brain trauma and developing customized treatment that rehabilitates your brain and supports your recovery. To learn more about concussion rehabilitation, call the office today.
The clinic is now offering Telehealth to clients in Washington State, California, Texas, and Vermont!