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How do I know if I have a brain injury?

First, if you have been in an accident and think you have suffered a head injury, you should immediately seek medical attention. A doctor will be able to diagnose a traumatic brain injury and suggest appropriate treatment. However, while a traumatic brain injury may be easy to spot, lesser brain injuries might be more difficult to diagnose, and you might not go to the hospital right away because you are unaware of the damage that has been done to your brain. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of the varying stages of a brain injury.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury. They include momentary loss of consciousness, disorientation, headache, nausea, drowsiness, increased sleepiness, and loss of balance. Those who suffer a minor brain injury might also experience sensory symptoms, where changes occur to one's seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting abilities. This would include blurred vision and ringing in the ears. Sufferers might also find themselves sensitive to light or sound. A mild brain injury might also cause mood swings and/or memory problems.

More severe brain injuries are easier to diagnose. Symptoms might include lengthy loss of consciousness, lingering headache, consistent vomiting, seizures, coordination issues, and an inability to awaken from sleep. Sufferers of these types of injuries might also find themselves really confused and unable to speak clearly. In the worst cases, an individual could find himself or herself in a coma.

It is important to note that the terms "mild" and "severe" are medical terms and are not intended to belittle any head injury. In fact, all brain injuries are serious, and could leave an individual with a permanent disability and the need for long-term care. Therefore, it is important that Tennessee residents know if they have one of these injuries, and, if so, what legal action they can take to recover their losses.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Traumatic brain injury," accessed on Aug. 18, 2014

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Traumatic brain injury," accessed on Aug. 18, 2014

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