What are traumatic brain injury symptoms?
The large number of possible traumatic brain injury symptoms makes the injury difficult to really understand. Having any combination of these symptoms may be indicative of a TBI. Common symptoms include:
Nausea, dizziness, balance, headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, musculoskeletal issues such as TMJ, neck and back pain.
Pain, altered or absent taste/smell (geusia/olfaction), changes in hearing (e.g. tinnitus), changes in vision (e.g. scanning, perception, reading comprehension).
Amnesia, inability to speak or understand language, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking and understanding, inability to create new memories, or inability to recognize common things.
Concussions have a variety of immediate symptoms, including but not limited to: confusion, loss of consciousness, headache, nausea and vomiting, slurred speech, tiredness, balance problems, ringing of the ears, irritability, convulsions, dizziness, and amnesia surrounding the event. Concussion victims also experience delayed symptoms that may not arise for weeks to months. This includes the inability to concentrate, prolonged headaches, disturbed sleep, depression, moodiness, sensitivity to light and sound, feeling sluggish or groggy, prolonged nausea or vomiting, double vision, dilated pupils, slowed reaction times, extreme emotional feelings, loss of sense of smell or taste, or trouble with memory.
Post-traumatic headache (PTH)
Post-traumatic headache is defined by the International Headache Society as “a headache developing within seven days of the injury or after regaining consciousness.” The most common PTH resembles a migraine. It is critical to know the location of the pain as well as the type of headache in order to properly provide effective treatment. Medications like anti-inflammatories and pain medicines are generally used in the first few weeks. If headaches persist, preventative medicines like antidepressants, blood pressure pills, and anti-seizure medicine can be used to prevent rebound headaches.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma (often athletes), including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms.