Why are traumatic brain injuries easy to overlook?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Traumatic Brain Injury

Did you know that even if you have first aid training, there is a chance you can overlook the symptoms of some very concerning injuries? Traumatic injuries are a good example; even though they can endanger people’s lives, they may be easy to overlook.

What’s especially concerning is that the longer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains undiagnosed, the worse the symptoms may become. Why are traumatic brain injuries often easy to overlook?

What are traumatic brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries are often referred to as the “silent threat” due to the subtlety of their symptoms. Unlike visible injuries, the effects of a TBI may not manifest immediately. This can make individuals dismiss the possibility of a serious injury. TBIs can result from various incidents, including car accidents, falls, sports injuries and even seemingly minor incidents like a bump on the head. This range of causes also contributes to the ease with which TBIs can be overlooked, mainly because the symptoms might be attributed to other factors.

Potential symptoms of TBIs that you should not ignore

TBIs can manifest through subtle behavioral changes, such as mood swings, irritability or difficulty concentrating. These changes are often downplayed and attributed to stress or daily life challenges.

A constant or recurring headache, particularly after an incident involving head trauma, should never be ignored. It could indicate underlying complications requiring medical attention. Additionally, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses or sudden changes in cognitive function may signal a TBI.

Changes in vision, hearing, taste or smell without apparent cause may also indicate neurological issues associated with TBIs. Lastly, persistent insomnia, excessive sleepiness or disrupted sleep patterns following a head injury warrant investigation. Sleep disturbances can hinder the brain’s healing process and exacerbate TBI symptoms.

Traumatic brain injuries pose a significant threat; unfortunately, they are often camouflaged by the lack of immediate symptoms and the subtlety of behavioral changes. By recognizing the symptoms of a TBI, you can seek medical attention before questionable symptoms have time to escalate.