The Common Injury That Is Becoming A Silent Epidemic

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. and is considered a serious threat to public health and safety. According to Mindbodygreen, TBIs account for 30% of all injury-related deaths and affect millions of Americans every year.

Also known as a close head injury (CHI) or concussion syndrome (CS), a TBI is caused by blunt force trauma to the head. This can be the result of a number of potentially dangerous incidents, including a fall, a car accident, or even a sports-related injury.

TBIs are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being a minor bump to the head and 10 being the most severe head injury. While 70% to 90% of all cases of TBI are considered minor or mild, experts believe this is an underestimation since many cases go unrecognized and untreated. That's why it is sometimes referred to as a "silent epidemic."

How to tell if you have a TBI

Although anyone can sustain a head injury that could lead to a TBI, some people are more at risk than others. According to CNET, athletes, military personnel, construction workers, police officers, older adults, toddlers, and survivors of domestic violence are most likely to be at risk of a TBI. That's because some of the leading causes of TBIs include car crashes, assaults, gunshot wounds, and other injuries relating to sports, law enforcement, war, and recreational activities.

Regardless of how you hit your head, it's important to know which signs and symptoms of TBIs you need to watch out for. Some common symptoms of a mild TBI include headache, dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, nausea, mood changes, and sensitivity to light and sound. These are all signs of a standard concussion. However, more severe head injuries can lead to much more serious and damaging symptoms. For instance, slurred speech, seizures, loss of consciousness, memory problems, numbness, weakness, difficulty waking up, and loss of coordination or balance are all symptoms of moderate to severe TBIs. If you've experienced any injury that could lead to a TBI, you should seek immediate medical attention.