What is a TBI?

A TBI is a disruption of normal brain function caused by trauma. Traumatic brain injury is categorized as mild (concussion), moderate or severe.

What causes a TBI?

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating object. Other injuries are caused by a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, which can force the brain to move back and forth inside the skull.

The leading cause of TBI is falls, followed by motor vehicle crashes (car, motorcycle, ATV, etc.), being struck by or falling against an object, and assault.

Symptoms of a Mild TBI

TBI Center Woman with a Headache Photo
  • Low-grade headache that won’t go away
  • Having more trouble than usual remembering things, paying attention or concentrating, organizing daily tasks, or making decisions and solving problems
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
  • Getting lost or easily confused
  • Feeling tired all of the time, lack of energy or motivation
  • Change in sleep pattern—sleeping much longer than before, having trouble sleeping
  • Loss of balance, feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds, lights, distractions
  • Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Change in sexual drive
  • Mood changes like feeling sad, anxious, or listless, or becoming easily irritated or angry for little or no reason

Symptoms of a moderate to severe TBI may also include:

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to wake up from sleep
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Preventing TBIs

  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Never shake an infant or child.
  • Wear your seatbelt. Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle or ATV, while rollerblading, skateboarding, snowboarding or skiing.
  • Seek medical attention if you feel dizzy or have lost consciousness during a sports or recreational activity.