Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can present with immediate symptoms such as loss of consciousness, confusion, headaches or memory problems. However, it is crucial to recognize that some symptoms might manifest or become noticeable after the initial injury, indicating delayed effects of TBI. Understanding these delayed symptoms is essential for timely identification and proper management of traumatic brain injuries.
What Causes TBIs?
TBIs can occur from any accident or trauma that involves a blow to the head. While contact and other sports are common causes of TBI, this brain injury can be caused by slip/fall, motor vehicle, workplace and other accidents. Some people may not realize they have a TBI as the symptoms may be delayed for days or even weeks, but these symptoms can drastically impact their health and quality of life.
Delayed cognitive symptoms might appear days or weeks after the initial injury. These can include difficulties with concentration, memory problems, slowed thinking or challenges with decision-making. In some cases, individuals might experience increased confusion or disorientation that wasn’t initially evident after the injury.
Some individuals with TBI might notice changes in sensory perception over time. This can manifest as increased sensitivity to light or noise, changes in taste or smell or visual disturbances, such as blurred vision or difficulty focusing.
Mood and Behavioral Changes
Emotional and behavioral changes are common delayed symptoms of TBI. Individuals might experience increased irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression, or unexplained emotional outbursts that were not initially present post-injury. Changes in behavior, such as impulsivity, agitation or social withdrawal, might also emerge gradually.
Disturbed sleep patterns or the onset of sleep-related issues can be delayed symptoms of TBI. Individuals might experience difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, or excessive drowsiness during the day.
Headaches or Dizziness
While headaches are often immediate symptoms of TBI, some individuals might experience delayed or worsening headaches weeks or months after the injury. Dizziness, vertigo or balance problems may also arise as delayed symptoms.
In some cases, TBI can lead to the development of seizures, which might occur days, weeks or even months after the initial injury. These seizures can present in various forms, ranging from mild to severe.
Changes in Physical Function
Individuals might notice delayed changes in physical abilities or motor function. This can include weakness or numbness in limbs, coordination difficulties or problems with movement that were not immediately apparent post-injury.
The delayed onset of symptoms in TBI can be attributed to various factors, including the brain’s response to the initial injury, secondary processes within the brain or the development of complications over time. Individuals with a TBI may need ongoing medical treatments, which is important to understand for those who obtained their injury due to negligence. Managing delayed symptoms of TBI often involves a multidisciplinary approach, including medical interventions, cognitive rehabilitation, physical therapy, counseling and ongoing monitoring by healthcare providers specializing in brain injuries, which can represent a significant cost for the patient.
It is crucial for individuals who have experienced a head injury to seek medical attention promptly and undergo a thorough evaluation, even if initial symptoms seem mild or resolve quickly. Monitoring for any changes in symptoms or the appearance of new symptoms after a head injury is vital.
Since TBIs can have long-term impacts on cognitive, physical and emotional well-being, it is important to have coverage for possible medical costs. If a TBI is caused by negligence, a personal injury claim can help cover the medical costs and impacts on the victim’s quality of life. If you suffered a TBI due to negligence, contact our team at Conley Griggs Partin LLP. Call our office in Atlanta or Moultrie, GA, for a free legal consultation to discuss your options.
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