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Long Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, can have an overwhelming impact on the individual. When someone has been in an accident, they can suffer from mild or severe brain injuries. Mild traumatic brain injuries usually resolve in one to six weeks. Some of the common problems seen in mild TBI cases or concussion include fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, visual disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance, feeling of depression, poor attention, memory loss, concentration problems, emotional disturbances and irritability, and in some cases, seizures. The victim may also experience other symptoms with mild TBI, such as nausea, mood swings, loss of smell, feeling of confusion, sensitivity to light and sounds, and slowness in thinking. Over time, these symptoms may improve and completely go away. However, with more severe cases, the effects of TBI can be profound and they can go on for a longer period of time.

Some of the chronic effects of severe brain injuries include loss of consciousness for a time period of more than 30 minutes. Other effects of TBI include memory loss after the injury for more than 24 hours. The individual may suffer from higher levels of cognitive dysfunction and the movement of their arms and hands may be limited for quite a while. Their thinking ability may be affected, and they may experience abnormal speech or language problems. The degree of injury may vary depending on the severity of the accident, and so will the recovery. People with severe TBI will require long-term rehabilitation in order to maximize their functional abilities, as well as make them independent again. These changes in brain function can have a dramatic impact on the victim’s family, their job, as well as their social interaction. It may limit their movement and communication with others.

In many TBI cases, the victim looks completely normal and they may even be able to move about normally, but their thinking capacity will be affected. Such symptoms are easily missed by the person as well as their family and doctor. The injured person may first show changes in their behavior, before even realizing that it is a cause for concern. Oftentimes, the person may feel frustrated due to their inability to carry out the tasks properly. They may not be able to perform at work, and their frustration to carry out household tasks properly may eventually cause them to seek medical assistance.

Patients suffering from TBI usually experience severe problems with attention. Their short-term memory may also be affected and they may have difficulty performing daily routine tasks. They may feel that their response time has slowed down, and their overall activity levels may also be very slow. The person’s decision making ability may be affected and they may not be able to process a lot of information, or resolve problems easily. All these issues will have an impact on their personal and professional life. The symptoms can get better with time, but if the recovery is slow, it is advised to seek treatment from a professional health care provider who is experienced handling brain injury cases.

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