Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when something outside the body hits the head with significant force.
Whether it is a head hitting the windshield during a car accident, impact from a fall, head injuries received during sports or other recreational activities, or trauma from a nearby blast or explosion, TBI can cause changes in a person’s ability to think, control emotions, walk or speak. It can also affect sight or hearing.
TBI can be mild to severe. Mild traumatic brain injury refers to brief changes in or loss of consciousness. Severe traumatic brain injury refers to longer periods of unconsciousness and memory loss around the event. While it may be easier to diagnose moderate to severe TBI, changes caused by any TBI could significantly affect many areas of a person’s life.
TBI can result in changes in a person’s physical functioning, thinking abilities or cognitive function and behavior; they are often interrelated. These effects sometimes cause other difficulties such as sleeping problems, depression and anxiety.