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Traumatic Brain Injury Signs and Symptoms

Comments [10]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Signs and Symptoms (summer)
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The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be subtle. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury or may even be missed as people may look fine even though they may act or feel differently. The following are some common signs and symptoms of a TBI:

  • Headaches or neck pain that do not go away;
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions;
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading;
  • Getting lost or easily confused;
  • Feeling tired all of the time, having no energy or motivation;
  • Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason);
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping);
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance;
  • Urge to vomit (nausea);
  • Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions;
  • Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily;
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste; and
  • Ringing in the ears.1

Children with a brain injury can have the same symptoms as adults, but it is often harder for them to let others know how they feel. Call your child's doctor if they have had a blow to the head and you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Tiredness or listlessness;
  • Irritability or crankiness (will not stop crying or cannot be consoled);
  • Changes in eating (will not eat or nurse);
  • Changes in sleep patterns;
  • Changes in the way the child plays;
  • Changes in performance at school;
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities;
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training;
  • Loss of balance or unsteady walking; or
  • Vomiting.1

If you think you or someone you know has a TBI, contact your health care provider. Your health care provider can refer you to a neurologist, neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, or specialist in rehabilitation (such as a speech pathologist). Getting help soon after the injury by trained specialists may speed recovery.

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Facts about concussion and brain injury, 1999.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov.

Comments [10]

I've been to doctor it's not good news. I would like to play easy games I was real good on games

Jul 25th, 2014 9:38am

what if you hit your head on a metal door and you start feeling dizzy and 

May 5th, 2014 11:31am

thank you i am 12 i got layed out in footbll he hit me in the back penelty and i couldnt talk atall for a miniute or two but for some reason i went back inteh game and got 11 more tackles and 3 sack on the qb but in my back there was like nerve damage i think it hurt every time i took a shower it stjung

Mar 19th, 2014 5:48pm

Thanks for the website and all info Sarah, psychology student, Iran

Jul 31st, 2012 11:02am

Auto accident at Wayne and Wilmington 24 June 2010 have all on list plus lower spine/back pain; still suffering at this writing. Some MD's and Neurologists have no experience in TBI. Especially be careful not to go to a MD who first practiced in a socialized medicine country- if you walk and talk your good to go. It happened to me at another place not KMC. Richard in Kettering 937.654.4771 Help with proper care please.

Dec 10th, 2011 12:53am

Was a security officer at a local club got bashed and kicked around. Unconcious 10 mins cant even spell my wifes name anymore all the symtoms. 10 days later whats next in my life.

Sep 26th, 2011 4:24am

was in fatal car accident, have not had any medical treatment since leaving hospital...three years ago, everything on this list is my daily life

Aug 8th, 2011 9:37am

after my hellicopter crash 12-25-72 i was having almost all the signs and symptoms so the doctors at sick call keep telling me its the flu syndrome here is some through losingers return to full duty or they would say general malisia fit for duty

Sep 11th, 2010 4:35pm

Great article!

Aug 19th, 2010 11:41am

Is timing critical? Is there a 24=48 hour period where getting appropriate helps make a difference in the opportunity for full/significant recovery?

Jun 8th, 2010 10:20pm


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