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Moderate to serious traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) will almost always have very intense effects on the victims who endure such debilitating accidents. These effects tend to have lasting impacts on victims within a variety of routine behavior, which is why these personal injury cases tend to deal with the loss of quality of life.
On this page we’re going to explain the many different long-term effects of TBIs and how they affect a patient and their loved ones’ lives. By going through this list of effects you’ll be able to better understand the many symptoms and side effects associated with TBIs, and the proper treatment procedures as well.
Our team has handled countless TBI cases, so we know just how crucial it is for accident victims and their loved ones to be compensated for the damages that persist potentially for a lifetime. If you or a loved one unfortunately has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, then you should reach out to us for a free consultation so we can better understand the circumstances of the injury and put you in the best situation to be financially secure throughout the recovery process.
Why TBIs Tend to Have Persistent Problems
Your brain is always going to immediately work to repair any tissue or internal damage when you’ve sustained a really serious head injury. While some of these restoration processes are effective through the use of direct treatments within the first six months of recovery, there are many instances in which some parts of the brain simply cannot fully heal.
These troublesome cranial areas sometimes will see progressive decline, which typically results in long-term or even life-long symptoms and general effects. Of course there are also long-term social and emotional effects that tend to occur within TBI patients that should never be ignored.
The following are some of the long-term effects associated with TBIs:
Ongoing Physical Effects
If there’s anything the medical field knows for sure about TBIs, it’s that there tend to be many different persistent physical problems that occur after these types of head injuries. Here are some of the more common physical complications that TBI patients may potentially face:
Headaches and migraines
Headaches tend to be very frequent, if not daily, when someone suffers from a serious TBI. What’s worse is that studies have also shown that migraines and headache symptoms can sometimes become worse as time goes along.
The six month mark typically tends to be a crucial point in the recovery process in which medical professionals can have a pretty good understanding as to whether or not chronic headaches will continue for years or even forever within a patient.
Headaches are physical symptoms that sometimes even persist after a TBI patient is considered fully recovered, so this is by far one of the most common long-term effects of TBIs.
Dizziness is a very common symptom of TBIs, and about one-third of TBI patients experience dizziness for a minimum of five years after their injury. But, what’s important to know about dizziness is that over time it’s likely to improve.
Light and noise sensitivity
All types of sensory complaints are very common within serious TBI patients, and there are many instances in which this symptom ends up being a long-term problem. The medical terms for these sensitivities are phonophobia and photophobia, and about 25% of TBI patients undergo these sensitivities even a year after their injury.
These sensitivities, like other long-term symptoms, are lifelong concerns.
Patients’ eyes are sometimes greatly impacted by TBIs, which can sometimes lead to the general inability to focus properly when looking at something close by. TBIs can also lead to visual issues that make a patient’s vision blurry or have double vision.
As TBIs increase in severity, it’s generally more likely for the patient to undergo mental and physical fatigue more easily. Fatigue is a physical ailment that tends to have emotional symptoms as well, which can have a ripple effect on the daily life of a person throughout the TBI recovery process. Light sensitivity and other sensory issues also compound upon fatigue after a TBI.
Around 40% of TBI patients have some kind of late-stage seizures, which is a clear indication of very serious TBIs. When a patient undergoes consistent seizures for a long period of time, it can sometimes be a lifelong concern.
It’s difficult to verify whether or not seizures that occur briefly after an injury are still linked to epileptic attacks years later, but seizures are nonetheless a very serious and frightening long-term effect of TBIs.
Ongoing Emotional/Cognitive Effects
There are also many types of psychological and emotional effects associated with TBIs, some of which could potentially develop years after the initial accident.
One of the most common of these issues is overall memory problems, which is known to last for multiple years within about 45% of TBI patients. It’s safe to say that there are mental improvements over time for all TBI patients, but of course there are situations in which these types of effects can persist for decades or even a lifetime.
Some long-term, non-physical effects include:
Irritability tends to be a very common effect of TBIs that can develop anytime during the first three years of recovery. A lot of these emotional changes are directly correlated to other physical problems like chronic pain and fatigue, so the longer the physical effects last the more likely patients will see more dramatic emotional effects as well.
This is why treating the most serious physical symptoms of TBIs is so important during the initial recovery stages.
Degenerative brain diseases
Damage within the brain is always a major concern for serious TBI patients, which can end up leading to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life. There aren’t any clear statistics about the likelihood of TBI patients acquiring these diseases, but in general the experts say that TBI patients are at the highest risk of these very debilitating mental disorders.
Ongoing Social Effects
It should never be surprising that a TBI can potentially have a dramatic effect on a patient’s overall quality of life, and the following are some important factors to consider:
Higher chance of death
There is no denying the facts that people who’ve suffered from a serious TBI are more likely to pass away due to some related complication to their injury. It’s also very unfortunate that depression and other psychiatric issues lead to higher risks of suicide amongst TBI patients.
Older TBI patients are also more susceptible to serious issues like sepsis, pneumonia, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is also something that tends to happen for those who have undergone serious TBIs, which has recently been highlighted as an issue within the NFL and other professional sporting leagues.
But, we must also recognize that medical professionals have done a wonderful job in recent years to decrease TBI patient mortality rates in recent years, and this trend appears to be continuing to improve.
Lower employment rates
People who suffer from serious TBIs are much more likely to have difficulty getting back in the workforce than those who suffer mild TBIs, and a recent study showed that only about one-third of TBI patients had a full-time job several years after their injury.
This is a big reason why it’s so important to recover all of the necessary damages within a TBI personal injury lawsuit, because there almost always is a serious struggle for financial security after these types of injuries.
Reduced activity participation
It’s rather rare that TBI patients are capable of fully participating in the same activities that they did prior to their injury, and what’s very sad is that the many persistent physical ailments to TBIs tend to lead to social isolation. Social isolation has been known to contribute to a loss of quality of life in many TBI patients.
Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys for more information about how to receive your rightful compensation after a TBI
One of the most important considerations when it comes to TBIs is to never give up, and there are always going to be countless medical and social resources that are available for TBI patients to assist them through the recovery process.
But it goes without saying that this type of recovery process is not easy on an injury victim and their family, which is why our team of Silver Spring, Bowie, College Park, Landover and Upper Marlboro Injury & Accident Attorneys is here to help you in recovering all the necessary compensation for the long-term damages that may last a lifetime.
If you or a loved one has endured a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you need to contact us immediately for a free consultation so we can begin the first steps towards your financial security.