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Traumatic Brain Injury: Types, Causes, and Symptoms

Often, a forceful blow or jolt to the head or body can cause a traumatic brain injury. Any unwanted object that that passes through brain tissue, such as a gunshot or fractured piece of the skull can also lead to brain

Mild traumatic brain injury might momentarily alter your brain cells. More acute traumatic brain injury can include bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical head trauma. These injuries can cause long-term consequences or even death.

Head injuries are of various types some of the common head injuries include concussions, skull fractures, and scalp wounds. However, the implications and remedies for a head injury vary widely depending on its cause and seriousness.

Head injuries can be either closed or open. Any damage to the head that does not shatter the skull is considered a closed head injury. In contrast, an open (penetrating) head injury occurs when something penetrates your skull and scalp and enters your brain.

It might be complicated to determine the severity of a brain injury just by looking at it. For example, a wound might lead to severe bleeding or no bleeding at all, in this case, it might be difficult to assess the situation correctly. All brain injuries should be taken carefully and evaluated by a doctor.

What Are the Common Brain Injuries?


A hematoma is a condition where blood clots outside the blood vessels. A brain hematoma is a serious issue and can be pretty dangerous. Clotting can build pressure inside your head. This, in turn, can lead to unconsciousness or lasting brain damage.


Unchecked bleeding is referred to as a hemorrhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a condition where bleeding occurs in the area around your brain. On the other hand, an intracerebral hemorrhage is a condition where bleeding occurs into your brain tissue.

Headaches and vomiting are usually the first signs of subarachnoid hemorrhages. The volume of bleeding determines the severity of intracerebral hemorrhages. However, any amount of blood can induce pressure accumulation over time.


A concussion occurs usually when a person takes a severe blow to the head, hard enough to injure the brain. It’s supposed to be caused by the brain collapsing against the rigid walls of your skull. However, it may also occur due to the pressures of abrupt acceleration and deceleration.

Generally, the loss of function caused by a concussion is transitory. Frequent and unchecked concussions can result in permanent brain damage.


Any type of brain damage can cause edema or swelling. Many traumas produce swelling of the surrounding tissues, but the brain’s swelling is more dangerous.

This is because your skull cannot extend to absorb the swelling. It results in pressure to ramp up in your brain, causing it to grind against you.

Skull Fracture

Your skull lacks bone marrow. Hence while your other body parts are supported by the bone marrow, your skull does it all on its own. As a result, it is extremely sturdy and hard to break. A cracked skull cannot absorb the impact of a hit, increasing the likelihood of brain injury.

Axonal Diffuse Injury

A diffuse axonal injury (sheer injury) is a brain injury that does not induce bleeding but damages brain cells. As a result of the injury, the brain cells are unable to operate. It can also cause edema, which can exacerbate the injury.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

In general, head injuries are classified into two types based on the cause. They include head injuries caused by blows to the head or caused by shaking.

Newborns and toddlers are vulnerable to shaking-induced head injuries. However, they can occur at any time involving strong shaking.

Head injuries from a blow to the head usually occur due to:

●      Vehicle accidents

●      Sudden falls

●      Physical attacks and

●      sports-related mishaps

In most circumstances, your skull will keep your brain safe from significant injury. However, traumas that are severe enough to produce a brain injury can also result in spine damage.

What Are The Symptoms of Brain Injury?

Because your head has the most blood arteries of any part of your body, bleeding on the surface or within your brain is a severe issue with head injuries. However, you need to consider that not all head traumas cause bleeding, some cause unseen, internal damage.

It’s critical to be aware of any additional symptoms to be on the lookout for. Many indications of severe brain damage might not appear immediately. However, after injuring your head, you should constantly observe your symptoms for many days.

Symptoms of a mild head injury include:

●      Migraine

●      Lightheadedness

●      Spinning sensations

●      Slight confusion

●      Nausea

●      Ringing in the ears for a short period

Many of the symptoms of a severe head injury are similar to those of a moderate head injury. Severe damage may contain the following:

●      Unconsciousness

●      Seizures

●      vomiting

●      balance or coordination issues

●      Severe disorientation and

●      Difficulty in focus

●      Unusual eye motions

●      Loss muscular control

●      A headache that persists or worsens

●      Memory loss

●      Mood swings

●      Draining of clear fluid from the ear or nose

In the event of a potentially catastrophic head injury, call 911 or your local emergency services. Motion can potentially aggravate a head injury. Therefore, emergency medical staff are trained to transport injured persons with caution and without inflicting more harm.

The content herein is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.

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