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What Are the Main Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Update Date: Dec 17, 2019 11:19 AM EST
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What Are the Main Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
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One of the worst injuries that anyone can endure is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These wounds lead to lifelong difficulties that are incredibly challenging to manage.

Physical and emotional symptoms related to brain injuries are often dealt with first, but cognitive issues can also be a problem. Any trauma to the brain can severely impact someone's ability to think, function, and behave.

There are several things you'll need to know about traumatic brain injuries, including what the symptoms are and what they are caused by. This can help you to prevent one from happening, but it's also useful for helping you identify if a loved one is suffering from a TBI.

We'll go over this information below so that you can keep yourself better informed about this serious injury.

Why Are Brain Injuries Significant?

The first thing to understand is why brain injuries are so impactful.

Your body has several important organs that are vital for proper function, but you cannot survive without a heart or brain.

The heart is necessary for pumping blood throughout your body, but the brain is required for instructing your body on how and when to function.

If your brain stops working, then your heart can continue beating, but eventually, your whole body will begin to shut down without instruction from the brain.

You need your heart and brain to survive, so damage to either organ is massively detrimental.

In addition to regulating bodily function, your brain is responsible for allowing you to think, feel emotions, and store memories.

When your brain is damaged, these core capabilities become compromised. Any form of traumatic brain injury is extraordinarily tragic because it can take away what makes a person human and uniquely themselves. 

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will vary depending on the severity of the damage.

TBIs can produce physical or cognitive symptoms and sometimes both. They can be present right after getting wounded, but they can also develop weeks later.

Here are some of the common symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury:

●      Losing consciousness.

●      Feeling dazed and confused.

●      Issues with focusing or memory.

●      Nausea and vomiting.

●      Trouble speaking.

●      Persistent headaches.

●      Inability to sleep (or severe oversleeping).

●      Dramatic mood shifts.

With more severe brain injuries, more symptoms are generally present and with greater intensity. Anytime you are hit in the head and have unusual symptoms, it's a good idea to get checked out by the doctor just to ensure that you don't have a TBI.

Hard Falls

One of the largest contributors to traumatic brain injuries are hard falls. For reference, 47% of TBI cases in 2013 were a result of a falling.

Anyone can fall and hit their head, but it is more likely in older folk and young children. This is because the elderly tend to have health issues that make it difficult to walk and maintain balance, while children tend to be reckless and make dangerous mistakes. 

A few things that can increase the risk of a fall are wet surfaces, unstable ground, and running. Make sure to take extra caution with your steps whenever you're facing any of these hazards.

Sports

Sports are meant to be for fun and exercise, but they can lead to a serious brain injury in the form of a concussion.

This tends to happen with any sports involving impact, like football, rugby, hockey, boxing, basketball, and soccer. Rugby, football, and hockey are the three most common sports that produce concussions.

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise because these three sports involve heavy contact with other players. When you play these sports, there is a great likelihood of being hit by another player.

If you are struck by another player, then there's a chance of being hit directly on the head or suffering indirect trauma through having your brain rattled by an intense blow to the body.

Rugby is particularly dangerous because pads are not involved, which can be used to absorb some of the shock from a blow. However, football and hockey use pads and concussions are still prevalent in those sports.

Try to stick to sports with low impact, like golf, cycling, and swimming.  

Car Accidents

Car accidents are another major cause of traumatic brain injuries.

The reason for this is quite simple and is similar to receiving a blow in sports. However, the main difference between the two is that car accidents often involve high speeds, which means a great deal of force being applied to your body.

Getting into a car accident can result in a TBI in two primary ways. You can smack your head against part of your vehicle (or be struck in the head) or you can suffer intense whiplash that rattles your brain.

You can't always avoid a car crash, but using defensive driving techniques and avoiding distracted driving are the two best ways to help prevent one from happening.

Assault

One final leading cause of a traumatic brain injury includes some form of assault.

Being hit in the head with fists, feet, baseball bats, golf clubs, wooden planks, frying pans, or anything that can be forcefully swung can lead to a TBI.

This is particularly scary because assaults to the head are direct and powerful. These are often carefully targeted and done with the intent of causing significant harm.

Assaults can both be planned and random, but you can make efforts to avoid both of them. Don't stay in abusive domestic environments and avoid getting involved with violent characters.

Be careful about where you're walking, especially late at night. Don't go into dark alleys, unsavory neighborhoods, or areas known for heavy crime. 

Closing Thoughts

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most impactful wounds that you can suffer from. Your brain is one of the two most critical organs in your body and any damage can have intense ramifications.

The symptoms of a TBI vary in intensity depending on the severity of the injury. Make sure to visit a doctor if you ever feel any odd symptoms following a blow to the head.

Hard falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, but they are also often caused by sports, car accidents, and assault.

Whatever you do, be smart and careful about your movements. Understand that anyone can incur a TBI, so don't be careless and prioritize your health over anything else!

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