What causes traumatic brain injury?
Sudden trauma that causes damage to the brain is considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs may be mild, causing temporary brain dysfunction, or much more serious, resulting in bruising and bleeding. Severe brain injuries can lead to long-term difficulties or death.
Sports injuries, car accidents, falls, and explosives are all common causes of traumatic brain injury. Any time you experience a head injury, you should seek medical treatment. If a loved one is unconscious, seek emergency treatment immediately.
What are the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?
Typical symptoms from a TBI include both physical and psychological effects. While some symptoms appear immediately, others may not manifest until days or even weeks after the trauma occurs. Symptoms of mild TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness or feeling dazed and confused
- Intense headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or changes in sleep patterns
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
- Ringing in your ears or difficulty hearing
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Changes in mood or feelings of depression or anxiety
Symptoms of severe traumatic brain injuries may also include:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Runny nose or fluid draining from your ears
- Inability to wake up
- Numbness in fingers and toes
- Coordination difficulties
- Profound confusion
- Slurred speech
If you have symptoms of a TBI, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention, as it can become life-threatening.
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed?
Doctors and emergency medical professionals assess patients suffering from a TBI using the Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a 15-point test that helps determine the severity of the injury by checking your ability to follow directions, move your limbs, and speak coherently.
Your doctor may also order image testing, such as a CT scan or MRI, to see the area of brain damage more clearly. The experienced team at Excel Medical Imaging offers the advanced methods of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
SWI and DTI advanced imaging makes it possible to better understand any neurological conditions that may have resulted from a brain injury. SWI can detect extremely tiny areas of bleeding on your brain that an MRI is not able to pick up. Both SWI and DTI provide doctors with critical information that could influence the diagnosis and treatment of a traumatic brain injury.
Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more about these advanced techniques at Excel Medical Imaging.