Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent?

is traumatic brain injury permanent

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there are about 223,135 hospitalizations that are related to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a grave condition that has led to 176 deaths per day in the United States in 2020, making it the major cause of death and disability in the country. It is a serious injury that could lead to devastating consequences.

With that being said, if you or a family member have been involved in an accident where your doctor believes that you have or you show symptoms of a TBI, it is normal to be anxious or in distress because of how it can affect your life. You also probably have a lot of questions.

As you deal with the effects of this condition, it is important to know more about a TBI and what you can do to recover from severe injuries, especially if this has been caused by someone else’s negligence. This article will help you learn more about the following:

  • What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
  • How To Know If You Have A TBI
  • Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent?
  • Long-Terms Effects of a TBI
  • How To Prevent TBIs From Happening
  • Why You Need Expert Legal Help for a TBI Case

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as an injury that impairs the normal function of the brain after suffering from a penetrating injury or a jolt, blow, or bump to the head. TBI has three main types: concussion (mild TBI), moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury. It can also be categorized as open, closed, or non-traumatic.

The most common incidents that lead to TBI in the United States are:

These situations can lead to different degrees of damage to the brain depending on the severity of the impact. The CDC estimates that approximately 1.7 million people sustain traumatic head injuries every year. However, only 3% of them seek medical attention.

Is traumatic brain injury permanent? A TBI may not always result in visible signs of trauma such as bleeding on the scalp or bruises around the eyes. In fact, many times the first symptom of traumatic injuries is headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, confusion, memory problems, seizures, or coma. These symptoms usually appear within a short period of time, usually minutes to hours after the incident, but they can last for days or weeks.

If you think that you or someone close to you has suffered a severe brain injury, you should immediately call on emergency medical providers who specialize in treating these. If you sustained a severe head injury due to somebody else’s negligence or recklessness, you also need to contact a brain injury attorney to help you get a maximum claim against the at-fault party. 

How To Know If Have A TBI

Because a severe head injury disrupts how the brain works, TBI symptoms manifest physically, behaviorally, emotionally, and cognitively.

In some cases of mild TBI, the person may not immediately notice they are suffering from these symptoms. They may notice it a day or a few days after the incident or while they are performing their usual daily activities.

Depending on the gravity of damage to the brain and the area of damage, the combination and severity of the symptoms may vary. The most common signs that you have suffered from a traumatic brain injury are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Head pain
  • Memory loss or gaps
  • Confusion and cognitive difficulties
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurry vision and other vision problems
  • Ringing in the ears and other hearing changes
  • Nausea or repeated vomiting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue or restlessness
  • Mood changes, irritability, sadness, or anxiety (altered mental status)
  • Sensitivity to light and smell
  • Sleep disturbance and other issues
  • Slurred speech or other language issues
  • Behavioral changes

Most may not notice the behavioral and emotional changes themselves as symptoms of a TBI because increased intracranial pressure and blood clots related to these manifestations are not visible. They can only be determined through a thorough neurological exam. Loss of memory and irregularities in normal brain function might not even be immediately apparent. 

This is where the accounts of the family and household members matter to better understand and assess the primary and secondary injuries, especially for the permanent effects of traumatic brain injury. Even with a mild injury, loved ones will have to observe changes in a person’s daily living capabilities and report to medical providers if they spot a problem. 

Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent? The Long-Terms Effects of a TBI

According to Bramlett and Dietrich (2015) and other related studies, the acute and chronic consequences of brain damage can lead to permanent disabilities, significantly affecting the quality of daily living.

A TBI, particularly axonal injury, can lead to several secondary problems or injuries, including neuroendocrine dysregulation (endocrine dysfunction that alters normal mental functions), sleep disorders (insomnia), neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, among others), and psychiatric problems (major depression, generalized anxiety, among others).

The changes that a TBI can cause in a person’s life, depending on the severity of the injury, can last for months to years or permanently because the brain cells that were damaged can no longer repair themselves or regenerate. Even in a mild injury, the rate of recovery can be very slow to non-existent. Hence, the permanent effects of traumatic brain injury can be very challenging and life-changing.

If you worry about it and ask, “is traumatic brain injury permanent?” Then, the answer is yes. However, the good news is that there is hope for recovery. This comes from the fact that healthy brain cells can help rewire the brain functions that the TBI is affecting.

It is important to note that for those suffering from mild TBI, the recovery period is faster than for those with moderate and severe TBI. It may also be very gradual for older people or very severe for younger persons, depending on the primary injuries.

Even if that is the case, trust that the brain is highly adaptive. With cognitive rehabilitation therapy stimulating the affected regions of the brain, restoration to normal brain function can be achieved and cognitive difficulties can be overcome. But then, again, it all depends on the situation. 

How To Prevent TBIs From Happening

Because of the devastating consequences of brain damage, safety precautions are a must in your daily activities. Here are some helpful tips:

  • When you are on the road driving your car, wear your seatbelt.
  • Buckle your kids up for their safety too.
  • For motorcycle riders, wear your helmet and other safety gear.
  • For sports players and enthusiasts, wear the right gear and have routine medical check-ups.
  • Prevent falls at home by installing grab bars and handrails on stairways, reducing trip hazards, and maintaining good lighting. Use nonslip mats. 
  • Reduce the slip- and trip-and-fall hazards for kids.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or other prohibited substances.
  • Focus on your driving, do not use your cell phone or get distracted on the road.

Of course, accidents are often inevitable and uncontrollable but you can reduce your exposure to risk by being on the defensive. 

Why You Need Expert Legal Help for a TBI Case

Is traumatic brain injury permanent? Yes, and it is best to get the medical care that you or your family member needs to manage the symptoms and other secondary injuries.

Another important matter that will help you get the right medical care is to have a competent personal injury attorney who can claim sufficient, legal compensation from the person responsible for your TBI, pain, and suffering.

Farahi Law Firm Is A Brain Injury Law Firm That Cares

At Farahi Law Firm, we do all we can to determine the best course of action for your case. With the experience, training, and advocacy to guide and equip each member of our team, you can rely on us to help you in this difficult time. Reach out to use for a free consultation! We are available 24/7 to take your call.