Did you know that more than a million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury every year? According to a 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.2 million emergency room visits are a result of a TBI and nearly a half a million of those are made by children ages 0 to 14 for a TBI. Falls in aging adults account for a number of TBIs as well. That is a lot of brain injuries! Awareness around TBIs, how they occur and how to prevent them is growing, and to that end, two months of the year – March and September – have been designated as National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Traumatic Brain Injuries can happen to anyone. While most are mild, TBIs can range from a concussion, the most common type of TBI, to permanent brain damage or even death. Something as seemingly small as a bump or blow to the head can cause a TBI. Knowing the signs of a brain injury and getting help right away from doctors who specialize in the functionality of the brain is the key to rehabilitation.
Unique in nature from other injuries, brain injuries can affect all aspects of our lives, from memory and motor function to personality. No two brain injuries are alike, and it takes specialized care and a functional approach to recovery to return a patient to well-being. Just as symptoms vary from headaches to slurred speech, nausea, numbness, confusion or restlessness to seizures or loss of consciousness, treatments also vary. Physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy and even vocational counseling have all proved effective treatments for TBIs.
With such a common and far-reaching condition experienced by millions of Americans, the Brain Injury Association of America and other organizations have designated two months of the year to raise awareness and help educate on the causes, symptoms, treatments and outcomes of TBI. You can learn more about progress in the field or how you can participate in activities in your state, please visit the Brain Injury Association of America’s website by clicking here.
In the meantime, here are some signs and symptoms of TBIs, as well as some tips on when to seek medical help.
The most common symptoms of a concussion include:
- difficulty thinking clearly
- blurry vision/ double vision
- irritability, anxiety, sadness (being more emotional)
- difficulty getting to or staying asleep
- feeling slowed down
- dizziness, balance issues
- sensitivity to light and noise
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty remembering new information
- feeling tired/ lack of energy
Follow these recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on when to seek medical attention.
- Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
- Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea.
- Slurred speech
- Drowsy or cannot be awakened.
- Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other.
- Have convulsions or seizures.
- Cannot recognize people or places.
- Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
- Have unusual behavior.
- Lose consciousness (a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously and the person should be carefully monitored).
In children: Any of the adult symptoms as well as if the child will not nurse or eat or cannot be consoled.
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI and would like to learn how Chiropractic Neurology can help you, contact the team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today. We look forward to hearing from you.