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Understanding Different TBI Symptoms

How To Identify Mild TBI Symptoms

Many times, mild TBI symptoms go overlooked, which is common with many concussions suffered through sports injuries and the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries can occur much later than the time of the initial injury.

The cognitive or behavioral symptoms of a mild TBI include:

  • Mood changes or swings
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Feeling anxious or depressed

The physical symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a couple of minutes
  • A prolonged state of confusion or disorientation
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Loss of balance or dizziness

The perceptual symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in ability to smell
  • Ringing in the ears
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to sound or light

These symptoms are often very subtle and not recognized by the injured person or their loved ones because the injured person looks normal and typically moves around normally although they are not feeling or thinking normally. This is why it’s usually the injured person’s family and friends who originally notice the symptoms and changes in behavior before the injured person realizes they have a problem.

How To Spot Severe TBI Symptoms

Severe brain injuries are defined as brain injuries that result in a loss of consciousness or disorientation of over 30 minutes and can result in the Glasgow Coma Scale at 3 to 8.

There are several factors that come into play when it comes to measuring the impact of a severe TBI, a subdural hematoma, and these include things like the severity of the initial injury, the functions affected, the rate of physiological recovery and much more.

The cognitive symptoms of a severe TBI include difficulties pertaining to:

  • Concentration
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Speed of processing
  • Confusion
  • Impulsiveness
  • Language processing

Speech and language problems commonly occur with a severe TBI, including the following symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Problems reading/writing
  • Receptive aphasia (not understanding spoken words)
  • Expressive aphasia (difficulty speaking/being understood)
  • Speaking very fast or slow

The physical symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes up to hours at a time
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Persistent headaches or headaches that get worse over time
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Clear fluids draining from ears and nose
  • Numbness or weakness in toes and fingers
  • Loss of coordination
  • Menstrual difficulties
  • Sleep disorders
  • Appetite changes
  • Loss of stamina

The perceptual symptoms include the following:

  • Loss or diminished sense of taste or smell
  • Loss of hearing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Partial or total loss of vision (or blurred vision)
  • Weakness of eye muscles and double vision
  • Involuntary eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)

The emotional/behavioral symptoms include:

  • Dependent behaviors
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Denial/lack of awareness of symptoms
  • Flattened or heightened reactions or emotions

Acquired brain injuries also exhibit a combination of the symptoms involved in both moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries.