Open Accessibility Menu

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a closed-head injury caused by a blow to the head or severe jerking motions of the head, neck, or body. Common causes are accidents, work- and sports-related accidents, falls, or abuse.

Falling increases the risk of closed-head injuries in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • High-impact sports, such as boxing, basketball, baseball, or football
  • Physical abuse
  • Alcohol or substance use disorder

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A person may have problems right away or in the days and weeks after the trauma. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of TBI since there is not usually a visible wound or physical indication of damage. Signs that TBI has occurred include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling very sleepy
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
  • Problems with memory or focus
  • Double or blurry eyesight
  • Problems speaking
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Seizures
  • Loss of alertness

Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Treatment for TBI will depend on how severe the closed-head injury is. The goal of treatment is to give the brain time heal and to avoid lasting problems.

Mild Injury

Mental and physical rest will be needed to give the brain time to heal. This includes limiting mental tasks like work or school. Problems may get worse when a person returns to normal activity too soon. It can also slow healing. It will take longer to return to a sport or other physical activity. Having a second head injury before the brain has fully healed can lead to severe problems, so the affected person should take extreme caution while recovering.

Moderate or Severe Injury

Emergency care should be sought: The affected person may require supportive care, such as oxygen, IV fluids, medication to ease brain swelling or stop seizures, and/or nutrition therapy. People who are not helped by these methods may need surgery.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation for TBI may include physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion, occupational therapy to re-learn tasks of daily living, speech therapy, and/or mental health therapy.

How to Prevent TBI

The risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury can be mitigated by:

  • Using seat belts and child safety seats when in a vehicle
  • Using safe, age-appropriate methods when playing sports
  • Wearing a helmet when doing activities like contact sports, bike riding, skateboarding, and snowboarding

Falling is a common cause in older adults. The risk may be lowered by:

  • Using grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom
  • Using handrails when walking up and down stairs
  • Having safety gates by stairs and safety guards by windows
  • Keeping walkways clear to avoid tripping
  • Making sure rooms and hallways are well-lit

If you suspect that traumatic brain injury has occurred in yourself or a loved one, schedule a visit with Ogden Clinic’s Neuropsychology team today. You do not need a referral to visit us.

Related Providers