Traumatic brain injury (TB)I is damage to the brain due to a blow to the head or other trauma. When a blow to the head occurs, it causes the brain to move around suddenly and forcefully in the skull. This damages cells and creates chemical changes in the brain. Concussion is a very common type of TBI. The damage from a TBI can range from mild to severe.
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The signs and symptoms of TBI usually follow a known head injury. Symptoms range from mild headache and temporary confusion to signs of stroke and other severe problems. The common signs and symptoms of TBI include:
- Difficulty awakening from sleep
- Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
- Disorientation regarding time, place, or identity
- Signs of stroke, including one-sided weakness or numbness in the arms, legs, or face
- Slurred speech
See a doctor after a head injury, even if you don’t experience symptoms right away.
Call 9-1-1 for:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking or talking
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
Diagnosing TBI at Dignity Health
To diagnose a TBI, your doctor will perform a physical exam, paying special attention to your nervous system. The exam involves checking your reflexes, coordination, and pupil size. Your doctor will also test your memory and ability to recall information.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may order imaging exams:
- CT scan is the standard test at the time of injury.
- MRI can also be useful for evaluating complications of a TBI.
TBI treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment aims to prevent further brain damage and preserve brain function and mental health. Having a complete diagnosis helps your doctor plan the most effective treatment. Keep in mind, the full extent of the injury may not be apparent right away. This means you may have frequent follow-up visits with your doctor to determine the need for further treatment.
Dignity Health provides expert diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TB)I in Arizona.