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What are some signs of a traumatic brain injury?

You were at the store when it happened. You slipped and fell, but you didn't have time to catch yourself. You struck your head on a step, temporarily knocking yourself unconscious.

Blacking out as a result of hitting your head is a serious sign of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries have many signs and symptoms, but losing consciousness is one that shows that you need to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

As time progresses, you may begin to notice other symptoms. Some common symptoms of head injuries include headaches, dizziness or vertigo, nausea or vomiting, seizures, trouble waking up and slurred speech. Severe brain injuries could result in fluids draining from the ears or nose.

It's important for anyone with these or other neurological symptoms to seek help right away. Continued pressure and swelling on the brain could damage it further, making it harder to recover from the condition.

Some symptoms of a brain injury don't develop right away. For instance, irritability, depression or mood changes could develop later after the individual starts recovering. Difficulty sleeping, agitation or changes in your behavior could also develop during recovery. Many of these changes could have taken place previously, but since symptoms overlap and may not seem unusual, they could take time to diagnose.

Anyone who suffers a TBI needs to get medical help quickly. Early treatment is one way to prevent further damage. It also helps you get on the road to recovery faster, so you can get back to doing the things you love.

Source: Brainline, "Traumatic Brain Injury Signs and Symptoms," accessed Feb. 21, 2018

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