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What Is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

What Is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Any type of brain injury can have serious, long-lasting health consequences. If you were in an accident that resulted in a “mild traumatic brain injury”, you may be wondering how your injury can be both traumatic and mild. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer, however, as it describes the accident and not the injury itself.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Can Be A Severe Injury

The Brain Injury Association of America states that “the term ‘mild brain injury’ can be misleading” and is used “in reference to the severity of the initial physical trauma that caused the injury.” Thus, the term “mild” refers to the type of accident and not necessarily the injury that results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that mild TBI happens when an individual’s head is injured in an accident involving blunt trauma. A person may have suffered a mild TBI if he or she exhibits any of the following symptoms following the accident:

  • Loss of consciousness for a period lasting 30 minutes or less
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Other neurological dysfunction

Additionally, the Brain Injury Association of America breaks down mild TBI symptoms into stages. Early stage symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Symptoms that may occur later on are:

  • A persistent headache that lingers
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Light intolerance
  • Inability to focus
  • Noise intolerance
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Many accident victims are plagued by fatigue following an accident. What they may not realize is that this could be a sign of brain injury. A study performed by the International Brain Injury Association revealed that, of all the symptoms associated with mild TBI, excessive fatigue is one of the most common. In some cases, brain injury-related fatigue can last for several years, negatively impacting a person’s ability to work, spend times with loved ones, and generally enjoy life.

Get Medical Help

Because mild TBI symptoms can mimic other illnesses, it can be difficult for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis. If you have been in an accident, one of the best things you can do is follow up with your doctor as soon as possible. If you suspect you have suffered a mild TBI or any kind of brain injury, see a doctor right away.