As the survivor of a traumatic brain injury and his or her friends and family struggle to comes to terms with what has happened and what the future holds, many questions are raised. It is helpful if both the survivor and his or her family have some general information about traumatic brain injury at this time.
How Many Americans Are Affected By Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Approximately 1.4 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and of these, 1.1 million are treated and released from the hospital, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 50,000 die.
The leading cause of brain injury is falls among those between the ages of 0 and 4, and those over the age of 75. Other common causes of traumatic brain injury are motor vehicle accidents, being struck by or struck against a moving or stationary object, and assaults and other physical violence. Motor vehicle accidents is the cause most likely to result in hospitalization.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The most common signs of traumatic brain injury are:
- Headaches and neck pain
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
- Issues with thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
- Fatigue, lack of energy, and decreased motivation
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Increased sensitivity to noise, lights, or distractions
- Loss of the senses, such as smell or taste
Long-term Outcome of Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the Center for Disease Control about 5.3 percent of Americans, roughly two percent of the U.S population, need help performing everyday activities as a result of traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury frequently causes issues that can affect thinking, emotions, sensation, and language. Seizures that result from traumatic brain injury can cause age-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.