Traumatic brain injury

Have you fallen recently or experienced a blow to your head? You might have a brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury

Recently I fell during a vacation when I tripped on an uneven piece of cement. While I was bruised and suffered minor cuts, what I didn’t realize was that I had injured my brain and had a concussion. Unfortunately, I didn’t seek any medical care until I returned home. Even though I had hit my head on the cement and felt dizzy and light-headed after the fall, it didn’t occur to me that I might have hurt my brain. I was more concerned with the cuts and bruises.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is disturbed by a sudden jolt. This is what happened to me when my chin hit the cement. These jolts may also occur during a car accident, sports contact or combat injuries. Violent blows to the head also cause brain injury. Most of us have heard of TBI’s either from hearing about injuries to football players or military personnel.

Michigan State University Extension advises that TBI should not be taken lightly. Anytime you suffer a blow to your head, you need to be checked by medical personnel. In my case, a CT scan revealed the swelling of the soft tissue of my brain. Blows to the brain may also cause tissue tears and bleeding which are more serious conditions.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are symptoms of a brain injury:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Our brains are the control centers of our bodies and need to be protected. If you have recently experienced a blow to the head, immediately seek medical attention – especially if you experience any of the above symptoms. Don’t take your injury lightly! It just might be a matter of preventing a future of impaired living or in severe circumstances, even death.

For more information on protecting your body by living a healthy lifestyle, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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