If you are a Florida retiree, you may share nostalgic stories with your friends and neighbors about back in the day when the funniest thing a TV and movie comic could do was take a pratfall in front of a group of horrified, albeit snickering, bystanders. While these carefully choreographed falls may have been funny, there is nothing humorous about falling.
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, a highly serious, oftentimes catastrophic, injury to your head and/or neck of such force that your brain becomes dysfunctional in some way. Since your chances of falling increase as you grow older, it follows that your chance of suffering a TBI likewise increases.
Immediate medical treatment
That is why it is crucial that you receive immediate emergency medical assistance any time you slip, trip or fall and hit your head in the process. Even a seemingly minor head injury can cause your brain to swing violently back and forth inside your skull, thereby injuring it. Once injured, it takes a highly trained trauma physician to assess your situation, administer the proper tests and begin immediate appropriate treatment for your TBI.
Time truly is of the essence when it comes to TBIs. The sooner you receive proper treatment, the less likelihood that your TBI will cause a drastic decrease in your quality of life. Without this treatment, you could spend the rest of your life as an invalid.
One of the most frightening things about a TBI is that its symptoms can appear at any time ranging from immediately after your accident to several days, weeks or even months later. While even a “mild” TBI such as a concussion can knock you out, do not assume that you are not really injured just because the “bump on your head” seems like no more than the proverbial goose egg that people suffer all the time when they run into a door or some other object. Your bump could be far more serious than you can imagine.
Even if the doctor gives you a clean bill of health right after your accident, be on the lookout for the following TBI symptoms in the days and weeks thereafter:
- Recurring headaches and/or bouts of dizziness, nausea or vomiting
- Frequent blurry vision and/or a more-or-less constant ringing in your ears
- Problems with your speech or in finding the right word to say
- Problems with your memory or concentration
- Frequent feelings of confusion, disorientation or unreality
- Personality changes such as mood swings and/or heightened feelings of anger, hostility, anxiety or depression
Report any such symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible. (S)he likely will want to run further tests in order to rule out a TBI as the cause of your symptoms.