What Is A Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

mild traumatic brain injury symptoms

A mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) can affect your life in many ways. It can change the way you think, feel, and act. Like other traumatic brain injuries, this condition can also be hard to detect.

Although the symptoms are usually not permanent, the long-term neurological effects of MTBI may persist and become severe over time. If you or a loved one is dealing with a mild traumatic brain injury due to someone’s recklessness, we are here to help.

At DRZ Law, we are committed to representing individuals whose lives have been changed by this injury. Talk to our team to know your options.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

A mild traumatic brain injury is also more commonly known as a “concussion.” This condition typically occurs after a sudden jolt to the head. It can change how your brain works temporarily.

A normal concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury because it usually does not cause any serious long-term health complications. Meanwhile, a severe injury or concussion is generally referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This kind of injury may cause bleeding, bruising, torn tissues, and other physical damage to the brain. It may result in long-term consequences or even death.

However, multiple repeated mild traumatic brain injuries may lead to a potentially debilitating and life-changing condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine also defined mild traumatic brain injury as the following:

  • A head trauma with loss of consciousness that lasts less than 30 minutes
  • A Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13 or more
  • Posttraumatic amnesia that lasts less than 24 hours

Brain concussion, intracranial hemorrhage, cortical contusions, and axonal shear injury may occur with both open and closed head trauma in MTBI.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A mild traumatic brain injury is a result of a direct or indirect impact on your head. The sudden and severe movement of the head causes the brain to bounce inside your skull.

The degree of brain damage can depend on several factors, such as the force of impact and the nature of the injury. Brain injuries, like mild TBI, may occur due to these events:

  • Falls: Falling is the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in young children and older adults. It may include falls from a bed, ladder, stairs, or in the bath.
  • Contact sports: Various sports may cause injuries to the brain, like soccer, football, baseball, boxing, hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding, and other extreme sports.
  • Car, motorcycle, or bike accidents: Collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries.
  • Combat injuries and explosive blasts: Severe blows to the head with debris or shrapnel, penetrating wounds, and collisions with objects after an explosive blast may result in traumatic brain injuries in military personnel.
  • Violence: Child abuse, domestic violence, and other physical assaults can cause traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

The symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury may vary for every individual. It depends on where and how much the brain is affected.

While common symptoms may occur immediately, some may appear a while after the injury. The signs and symptoms of a mild TBI may include the following:

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • A general feeling of fatigue or lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Problems with speech
  • Sensory issues, such as blurred vision, changes in the ability to smell, or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Visual disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Ringing in the ears

Cognitive, Mental, or Behavioral Symptoms

  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • A state of being confused, dazed, or disoriented
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Loss of consciousness, lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

How Are Brain Injuries Diagnosed?

Most traumatic brain injuries are mild. If a person has a mild TBI, they might feel stunned and knocked out for a short time. A medical professional will evaluate your symptoms to determine if you have a mild TBI.

However, it is not always easy to diagnose a mild traumatic brain injury because of its somewhat unpredictable characteristics. The symptoms may also be similar to those of other health conditions.

Traumatic brain injuries may not show up on imaging technology, such as X-rays, brain scans, or MRI. The medical professional may base the diagnosis of TBI on the following:

  • What the head injury looks like
  • The types and severity of symptoms
  • Other risk factors that may lead to an extended recovery period

Post-MTBI Complications

An individual may experience persistent somatic, cognitive, and affective symptoms after the initial MTBI. These symptoms, also referred to as post-concussion syndrome, may last beyond the expected recovery period.

Persistent post-concussion syndrome may result from brain injury or trauma involving head and neck structures. The risk of developing this complication does not appear to be associated with the severity of the initial mild TBI.

The most common symptoms include headache, dizziness, neck pain, disordered sleep, memory and concentration problems, and emotional disturbances. These symptoms may gradually decrease in severity over time.

Post-concussion syndrome may occur within the first week up to 10 days, and it can go away within three months. In some severe cases, it may last for a year or more.

We Can Help You

The long-term consequences of mild traumatic brain injuries can be anything but mild. They can greatly impact your overall quality of life. Our legal team at DRZ Law Firm is here for you.

Call us at 913-400-2033 or fill out our contact form, so we can assist you in your situation and take the necessary action.

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