Though primarily known for the shift to Daylight Savings Time, St. Patrick’s Day, and finally signaling the long-awaited start of spring, you should know that March is also National Brain Injury Awareness month. Every year in the U.S. over one million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) of some kind, and they stem from a surprisingly wide variety of activities. From jumping on a trampoline, to fishing, to horseback riding, to football, it seems that regardless of the sport, your head is virtually always at some kind of risk for trauma. If you or your children participate in sports, it’s vital that you’re aware of what your head is up against out there.
What Constitutes A Brain Injury?
Though a traumatic brain injury can no doubt be fatal, most of them are actually considered minor. A TBI is defined as what “occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain and can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.” In other words, it can be anything from a mild concussion from bumping your head while working around the house to permanent or fatal damage sustained in a car accident.
What To Look Out For From A TBI
Many people (athletes, in particular) usually think a shot to the head isn’t that bad if they didn’t actually get knocked out. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Common symptoms include:
- confusion or a delayed response to questions
- blurred vision
- nausea and/or vomiting
- slurred speech
- ringing in the ears
- a bad taste in the mouth
With more severe concussions, you may see the previous symptoms, plus pupil dilation, mood swings, convulsions, sensitivity to light, numbness in the extremities, and insomnia.
Anyone who has received a blow to the head, regardless of how minor they feel it was, should be closely monitored for any TBI symptoms.
Should you or someone else notice any unusual behavior or signs of confusion, the victim should receive medical care immediately in order to both begin treatment and prevent further damage. A brain injury is definitely not something to take chances with.