What Are the Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe injuries a human being can sustain, and these injuries can have unpredictable long-term and permanent effects. Anyone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury should pay very close attention to his or her doctor’s instructions and treatment plan and report any new symptoms or changes in symptoms immediately.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Concussions are one of the most common traumatic brain injuries seen in the U.S., commonly resulting from car accidents, sports injuries, and interpersonal violence. A concussion occurs when an external force causes the brain to strike the inside surface of the skull. The human brain sits in the cranial cavity with a cushion of fluid surrounding it to protect it from the jagged surface of the inside of the skull. When a strong blow causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull, the damage may be minor or cause life-altering problems for the victim.
Most people who suffer mild concussions recover within a week or two with lots of rest and avoiding strenuous activities. However, some people may experience persistent uncomfortable or painful symptoms for months or even years following concussions. Additionally, suffering a concussion increases the victim’s vulnerability to future concussions. The symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome or persistent concussion symptoms include nausea, confusion, severe headaches, personality changes, and more.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
The brain is incredibly complex and powerful, but it is still vulnerable to injury. A penetrating head wound like a gunshot, knife wound, or impact wound from debris could cause fatal damage to the human brain. However, a victim who survives such an injury may experience a wide range of possible symptoms of various levels of severity.
Some people who experience severe traumatic brain injuries may develop personality changes, suffer cognitive difficulties, or experience memory loss or trouble making new memories. Others may only experience slight discomfort such as recurring mild headaches or changes in sensory perception. For others, the changes can be more dramatic. They may suffer amnesia, experience complete personality shifts, or develop secondary medical conditions related to their head injuries that severely diminish quality of life.
Many traumatic brain injuries cause long-term or permanent damage. A victim who enters a comatose or vegetative state following a traumatic brain injury may sustain further brain damage, potentially resulting in permanent neurological, behavioral, or cognitive impairment. These individuals may then require constant supervision and 24-hour daily care at home or an assisted living facility or hospital.
The effects of a traumatic brain injury are unpredictable. The type, size, and severity of the injury are only a few factors that determine the long-term effects. The victim’s overall medical status, age, preexisting medical conditions, and environmental factors may all influence his or her future prognosis. However, many severe brain injuries often result in life-changing disabilities, permanent mental deficiencies, and require long-term or permanent medical care and supervision.
Worsening Symptoms Over Time
Unfortunately, many of the long-term negative symptoms resulting from a traumatic brain injury will worsen over time. Some victims may experience progressively worsening headaches while others develop more extensive memory or sensory difficulties after their injuries. Others may develop disabilities that lead to depression, anxiety, anger, and secondary medical complications.
A brain injury victim should follow all physician instructions carefully and make all necessary medical appointments. If he or she requires ongoing care following a traumatic brain injury, his or her primary caregiver must stay alert for any sudden changes in the patient’s behavior or symptoms. Some traumatic brain injuries can damage the structure of the brain and cause it to deteriorate over time, and vigilance can help prevent potentially fatal complications from these issues. For more information on how to recover compensation for a TBI, speak with a brain injury attorney in Bakersfield.