One of the greatest concerns about traumatic brain injury (TBI) is that you may not be even aware at first that your brain has been injured.
How you feel after an injury
The fact is that you may feel okay after what seemed like a mild hit to the head. In car accidents, especially a fender-bender, your head may not have actually come in contact with a hard surface. But a TBI can result from any type of movement that causes the brain to move back and forth in the skull, even when there is no blunt force trauma.
What is a coup contrecoup injury?
When the brain moves back and forth and is damaged it is known as a coup contrecoup injury. In a coup contrecoup injury both sides of the brain have suffered damage. This damage is caused by the brain colliding with the skull at a high rate of impact.
The types of damage
- Diffuse damage can happen any time your head moves back and forth rapidly. This type of brain injury is common in contact sports blast injuries and car accidents.
- Localized damage occurs in a single location on the head or brain.
- Secondary damage happens after the initial injury and over time. This injury can lead to death if not caught in time and treated.
Know the symptoms
While the symptoms of a TBI can be different for different people, the most common symptoms have to do with "executive functioning." Along with concentration and memory problems you may have problems with:
- Place and time orientation
- Safety awareness and judgment
- General orientation, vertigo
Steps to take
We have heard it all before but you really do need to be seen by a medical professional any time there is a chance that your head or brain have suffered an injury. You don't want to accidentally make the damage worse, or put yourself in an unsafe situation (for example, go on a hunting trip or spend a weekend in an isolated area) if you have an undiagnosed brain injury.