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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Side Effects

The Side Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. They can have serious, long-term impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health, making it difficult for them to live normally. Understanding the side effects that may arise from TBIs is essential so you can identify them early and take steps to manage them effectively. This article will discuss some of the most common side effects of traumatic brain injury and how to manage and cope with these symptoms.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, seek legal counsel to protect your rights. Our experienced attorneys at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci can assist with filing a claim and securing the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

doctor explaining side effects of a traumatic brain injury

Immediate Side Effects Of A Traumatic Brain Injury

Head injuries can produce a range of effects immediately, including physical, emotional, and mental symptoms, often combined. These symptoms can range from inconvenient to severe, potentially impeding the patient’s ability to carry out daily activities.

Immediate side effects of a traumatic brain injury include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Visual impairments
  • Memory loss
  • Poor concentration or attention
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Irritability and emotional changes
  • Depression
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty thinking

Long-Term Side Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injury

Long-term consequences of a traumatic brain injury can have significant ramifications, such as heightened medical expenses, more severe impacts on the daily life of the injury victim, and even permanent disability.

  • Seizures
  • Problems with movement or coordination
  • Persistent headaches
  • Loss of motor function
  • Cognitive impairments, including difficulty understanding language and solving problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Chronic pain
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleepiness 
  • Trouble controlling emotions or behavior
  • Vision problems, including double vision and difficulty focusing

Consciousness and TBI

Impaired consciousness is one of the most recognizable symptoms of a moderate or severe TBI, with immediate and long-term effects that prevent the victim from operating in a normal state of awareness. These side effects may include:


This occurs when a person slips into complete unconsciousness due to widespread brain damage. They may awaken after a few days or weeks but may enter a vegetative state if they do not.

Vegetative State

The entire brain has been injured in a vegetative state, and the victim is unconscious. However, they may respond to reflexes and make sounds. While some people may regain a level of consciousness, a vegetative state may be permanent. Permanent brain damage is common if someone is in a vegetative state.

Minimally Conscious

Some head injury patients regain awareness of themselves and their environment during recovery from a coma or a vegetative state.

Brain Death

A severe traumatic brain injury can result in brain death, a permanent ailment with no activity in the brain or brainstem. Without breathing devices, the patient will not survive. 

Physical Complications Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain is responsible for controlling the body’s actions, and side effects of brain injury may manifest in different areas of the body, including the spinal cord. Unfortunately, many victims fail to recognize specific symptoms as side effects of their brain injury because they may seem unconnected, but these may include:


A seizure occurs when there is a burst of spontaneous electrical activity between brain cells, causing sudden abnormalities in muscles, behaviors, and awareness. While some traumatic brain injury patients only experience seizures during their early recovery, others may have them for years following the injury, known as post-traumatic epilepsy.


Swelling, or edema, is the body’s response to injury. Brain edema is particularly dangerous because the skull leaves little room for the brain to expand, which can lead to permanent damage or even death.


Migraine-level headaches are a common side effect of TBI, lasting from days after the incident to several months.


Vertigo, the sudden feeling of being off-balance or dizzy, is another disorienting symptom of traumatic brain injuries.


TBI can result in hypotension, otherwise known as low blood pressure. If the blood pressure drops too low, the brain may not receive adequate oxygen and essential nutrients, causing dizziness, fainting, and more severe injuries.

Effects On The Senses

Traumatic brain injury patients often suffer from the full or partial loss of their sense of smell and taste, which can be devastating. This occurs due to damage to the cranial nerves or the nerves at the base of the skull that connect directly to the brain. Other symptoms of cranial nerve damage may include facial paralysis, vision loss, difficulty swallowing, ringing in the ears, or hearing loss.

The loss will likely be permanent if a patient does not regain their sense of smell or taste within six months to a year after the injury.

Effects on Motor Function

The motor cortex of the brain is responsible for controlling muscle movement and coordination. Damage to this area can lead to losing motor skills, such as walking, talking, writing, or moving body parts. This can be particularly challenging for children with brain injuries who may still need to develop these essential skills.

man suffering from a traumatic brain injury TBI after a car accident

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Side Effects

Short-term effects of a traumatic brain injury are those that appear in the first few weeks or months after an injury. Long-term effects may take months or even years to manifest, often involving more severe physical and psychological issues.

Managing the Side Effects Of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Managing the side effects of a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. Still, it is essential to do so to live as normal a life as possible. It is also crucial to seek professional help from your doctor or a specialist to assess and treat any physical or psychological symptoms you may be experiencing.

Treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy to help with coordination, balance, and other physical challenges
  • Occupational therapy to help with daily tasks such as dressing and eating
  • Cognitive therapy to assist in improving memory, focus, and problem-solving skills
  • Psychological counseling to help with emotional issues that may arise due to the injury
  • Medication therapy to address physical pain or other symptoms
  • In addition, lifestyle changes such as incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your daily routine can help improve overall health and well-being. Getting enough sleep and managing stress levels by engaging in relaxation activities such as yoga or meditation is also essential.
  • Finally, it can be helpful to connect with a support group or have friends and family members who are understanding of your condition and willing to help you through difficult times.

The key is to remember that managing the side effects of a traumatic brain injury is possible. However, it may be difficult at times. With patience, determination, and support from family, friends, and healthcare professionals, individuals can take the steps necessary to ensure a successful recovery.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries can occur due to a variety of causes, including:

Car accidents

Truck collisions

Slip, Trip, and Fall accidents

Motorcycle crashes

Sports-related activities

Physical violence

Lack of safety equipment such as helmets in contact sports

Unsafe working conditions

Medical malpractice

In most cases, the injury is caused by an external force or impact that causes damage to the brain. Contributing factors may include a lack of safety equipment, such as helmets while playing contact sports, unsafe working conditions, or reckless driving.

Regardless of the cause, you should seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know experiences any signs or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Taking steps to properly diagnose and treat a TBI can help reduce the risk and severity of side effects.

What If My Traumatic Brain Injury Was Caused By Someone Else?

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Consulting an attorney specializing in personal injury cases can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in evaluating your case, filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, and representing you in court.

The law firm of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci understands the unique challenges you may face after suffering a traumatic brain injury and is committed to fighting for your rights. We have extensive experience handling personal injury claims. We will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for you or your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you recover compensation for your TBI-related losses.

traumatic brain injury TBI symptoms

Tips for Coping with the Side Effects of TBIs

The side effects of a traumatic brain injury can be challenging to manage. Still, individuals can employ several tips and strategies to cope.

Establishing a routine

Sticking to a regular schedule can help individuals better manage their symptoms and focus on recovery.

Meditating or engaging in relaxation activities

Taking time to relax and refocus can help reduce stress levels.

Seeking support

Joining a support group or having family members and friends who understand the individual’s condition can provide emotional and social support during difficult times.

Exercising regularly

Incorporating healthy physical activity into one’s daily routine can improve overall health and well-being.

Eating a healthy diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is vital for brain health and may help alleviate some TBI-related symptoms.

Getting enough rest

Adequate sleep helps with cognitive functioning and reduces stress levels.

By understanding how to manage the side effects of a traumatic brain injury, individuals can take back control of their lives and work towards achieving meaningful recovery and rehabilitation. With patience, determination, and the right support system in place, it is possible to successfully manage the symptoms associated with TBIs and go on to lead a full and productive life.

Coping with the Aftermath of Traumatic Brain Injury

In conclusion, traumatic brain injuries are serious and can have life-altering consequences. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else experiences signs of a TBI. There are several tips that individuals can employ to cope with the side effects of their TBIs so they can live a full life. Furthermore, if the injury was caused by negligence on behalf of another individual or entity, receiving compensation for related losses may be possible. 

With patience and determination, those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries can take back control of their lives and work towards achieving meaningful recovery and rehabilitation.

The Healing Power of Legal Support: Navigating Life After Traumatic Brain Injury

If you or a loved one have experienced the devastating effects of a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, we understand how overwhelming this can be. It’s important to protect your rights during this difficult time, and seeking legal guidance can help ease the burden. At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we have a team of compassionate and experienced attorneys who can help you file a claim and secure the best possible outcome. Contact our team today for a free consultation. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

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