Immediate Signs of Brain Injury that may result after an accident or injury
Even a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury can cause symptoms such as:
- Inability to recall events before and after the blow
- Changes in Behavior such as mood swings, ill temper or depression
- Confusion or disorientation
- Inability to concentrate
- Trouble answering questions
- Trouble following directions
- Blurred vision
- Repetitive speech
- Inability to sleep
- Abnormal movement of the eyes
- Loss of smell
- Light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
- Loss of memory
Residual Symptoms after a Head Injury
The long term effects of disabilities that are associated with brain injury depend on the severity of the injury, the location of the injury in the brain, the age of the victim and his general health at the time of the injury. Disabilities vary from person to person. The list below includes only a few of the impairments a person may suffer, long term, after a brain injury.
- Personality and Behavioral Changes
- Problems with Cognition
- Speech and Communication Disorders
- Altered Vision
- Other Deficits and Medical Conditions
Personality and Behavioral Changes
Family and friends may observe personality changes, emotional disturbances, and behavioral abnormalities in a person who has sustained a brain injury. These may include mood swings, depression, impulsivity, irritability, aggressive actions, anger, socially inappropriate actions, lack of self control, paranoia, confusion, insomnia, apathy, and anxiety, to name just a few. Social relationships may suffer.
Problems with Cognition
A brain injured person may experience cognitive difficulties such as loss of memory, loss of concentration, amnesia, and/or attention deficits. He may exhibit trouble with abstract reasoning, problem solving, planning, or processing information and lose other higher level mental skills such as executive functioning. His judgment may be affected. School work or employment may become problematic.
Speech and communication disorders
Communication disorders are not uncommon with brain injury. A brain injured person may have aphasia, a language disorder characterized by difficulty understanding the written and spoken word as well as difficulty speaking or writing normally. The person may have difficulty finding the appropriate word for what he wants to say and have trouble organizing his thoughts and speech. If his facial muscles have weakened, he may develop dysarthria, a speech disorder. This impairment may make it hard for the injured person to produce proper sounds resulting in slow, slurred and sometimes garbled speech.
A brain injured person’s eyesight may be affected by a brain injury. He may be unable to recognize words or see objects clearly. The person may have difficulty identifying colors or suffer movement agnosia, an inability to see objects moving. He may be unable to recognize familiar objects or people.
Other Deficits and Medical Conditions
Many other deficits and medical conditions are common after brain injury. Among them are:
- Inability to swallow food and water (dysphagia)
- Balance and equilibrium disorders often manifested by feelings of dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision and unsteady gait
- Inability to walk
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Decreased breathing capacity
- Altered sense of smell and taste