Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
Traumatic brain injury occurs when any force damages the brain. The damaging force may be external or caused by a fast acceleration or deceleration.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury depend on the type of traumatic brain injury that occurs, and the part of the brain that is affected. One symptom of traumatic brain injury is unconsciousness. Unconsciousness tends to be more severe and last longer in people who have damage on the left side of their brain. The more severe the brain injury, the more likely the patient will lose consciousness for either a few seconds or longer.
Mild symptoms of traumatic brain injury for example are:
- lack of motor coordination
- difficulty in balance
- blurred vision
- ringing in the ears
- a bad taste in the mouth for no other apparant reason
- tiredness and changes in sleep patterns
Some of these symptoms are harder to see in young children than adults, so it is important to watch the young child who may have had a traumatic brain injury to notice changes in behavior that he or she cannot otherwise express verbally.
Along with the above symptoms, mild traumatic brain injury also presents with such emotional, mood or behavior changes as depression, confusion, problems remembering, trouble concentrating or problems thinking in general. The mild symptoms of traumatic brain injury may also occur in people with more severe brain injury as well.
People with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may have a stubborn headache that does not get better, repetitive nausea and vomiting, and dialated pupils. The person with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may have trouble in many areas of thinking such as slurred speech, the inability to find words, and muscle problems that slurr speech. They may not be able to process launguage or pay attention, or may be slow to be able to process what is being said. Children and infants have an especially hard time communicating symptoms due to inabiltiy to speak or speak well. Young children may cry and be inconsolable, be more quiet or listless than usual, be more irritable than usual, or refuse to eat or drink.
Children, and people in general, with severe traumatic brain injury have high pressure inside their skull due to brain swelling. If not treated, death can occur. Decreasing consciousness, extremely uneven pupils that do not react to light stimulus, slow heart rate and respiratory slowing are all serious signs of traumatic brain injury, as is abnormal posturing. It is extremely important to have a physician or other trained health care professional be aware of the young child's symptoms to insure that treatment is provided and the risk of further damage to the brain is illiminated.