Symptoms Of Brain Injury
Injury to any region of the brain can interfere with its ability to communicate with the rest of the body thereby impairing a wide variety of different functions. The extent and duration of this impairment will depend on the general health of the individual, the severity of the injury and the section of the brain that was injured. Generally, injury to the left side, i.e., the left hemisphere, of the brain impacts movement on the right side of the body and may lead to impaired logic, language difficulties and depression. Injury to the right side of brain generally impacts movement on the left side of the body and can also cause decreased awareness of defects, changes in creativity and visual-spatial problems.
A person who has suffered a brain injury can experience varying degrees of physical, cognitive, and emotional or behavioral impairments. Living with these impairments can be extremely frustrating and difficult for brain injury victims and those close to them.
Physical symptoms are the most obvious to brain injury victims and their loved ones. Some common physical symptoms are fatigue, seizures, difficulty with speech, loss of motor control and coordination, sensory problems, difficulty sleeping, headaches, dizziness, bladder and bowel incontinence, nausea, vomiting, balance difficulties, and loss of smell and/or taste.
Cognitive symptoms of a brain injury relate to a patient’s intellect, language, memory and mental organization. Common cognitive symptoms of brain injury include loss of short-term or long-term memory, slowed thinking, difficulty concentrating, impaired judgment, reduced organizational skills, difficulty completing tasks, short attention span and lack of initiative.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms can be the direct result of a brain injury or develop over time as a patient struggles to deal with his or her injury. Some common emotional and behavioral symptoms of brain injury include mood swings, aggression, depression, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities, impulsive behavior, lack of sexual inhibition, restlessness and increased frustration.
Depending on the nature and severity of the trauma to the brain, accident victims will exhibit various combinations of the physical, cognitive, and emotional or behavioral symptoms noted above. In addition to loss of consciousness, initial indications of serious head or brain injury may include bleeding from the head or face, lethargy, confusion, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, shock, anxiety, memory loss, numbness or partial paralysis, weak pulse or breath, clear fluid draining from the nose or ear, unequal pupil size, and bruises around the eyes or behind the ears.
Anyone who has been injured in the head, face or neck area must seek immediate medical attention. Many injuries to the brain are not obvious at the time of an accident, and the symptoms of some serious and deadly injuries may not emerge until hours or weeks later.