Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a condition in which the head sustains sudden and severe damage. It can occur as a result of a violent accident, such as a car crash or a fall, or from a blow to the head.

Types of TBI

There are several types of TBI, and each type affects different areas of the brain. Some injuries only affect a small area of the brain and may not cause any symptoms, while others can damage several parts at once.

Treatment for TBI

The severity of a traumatic brain injury can determine the treatment you receive. People with mild to moderate TBIs often only need minimal treatment, including rest and therapy. They can recover fully within a few weeks.

Symptoms of TBI

Symptoms of TBI include headache, dizziness, confusion and memory problems. They can also include difficulty speaking or swallowing, blurred vision, numbness and loss of coordination. These symptoms can last from a few minutes to several hours, or even days.

Medical Evaluation

Your doctor will check your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level. They will also evaluate the injury to your brain and look for any bleeding, bruising or swelling in the brain.

Treatment for Severe TBI

If the injury is severe, your doctor will treat your symptoms and make sure you get enough oxygen and blood flow to your brain. They may also give you medication to help manage your symptoms or to control any pain.

Brain Function Evaluation

The doctor will ask questions about your memory, thinking, vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and sensation, reflexes and other indicators of brain function. They may also order a brain test to check your level of consciousness and confusion.

Recovery from Mild TBI

Mild traumatic brain injury is not life-threatening, but it can be painful and have long-lasting effects on your ability to function normally. You can recover fully if you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Hospitalization and Therapies

Depending on the severity of your TBI, you might need to stay in the hospital for some time. You may also need intensive medical and mental health services, such as counseling, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. These therapies can help you recover the skills you need to live independently after a TBI, so you can return to work and other activities that you enjoy.

Surgical Intervention

In some cases, your doctor will recommend that you undergo surgery to remove a piece of brain tissue or to reduce the pressure on your brain from swelling. This surgery is used for some people who have suffered a severe TBI and can prevent other serious complications.


Other medical treatments for traumatic brain injury involve medications, including anti-depressants to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Other drugs might be needed to control your blood pressure, blood sugar, or other conditions that can contribute to brain damage.

Consult Your Doctor

Many of these medications are available over the counter, but you should consult your doctor before taking them to ensure they are safe for you. They can be dangerous to take with certain medicines.

The Importance of Research

Despite recent advances in understanding what causes TBI and how it can be treated, no one single treatment makes a significant difference in people with TBI. Because of this, research is vital to finding new treatments that can improve the quality of life for people with TBI.

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