4 common myths about brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries have received a great deal of media attention in the past couple of years, especially in regards to athletes and soldiers. Of course, you don’t have to be on the football field or in a war zone to suffer a brain injury. They can happen in traffic, at work or during many other activities.

Despite all the news stories about these injuries, and scientific efforts to learn more about brain trauma and how to prevent or treat it, much of the public continues to misunderstand TBI. It is perhaps not surprising, given how mysterious these injuries can be. Still, understanding brain injuries better may help our readers to know not to ignore signs that they or someone they know have sustained one.

Here are some common myths about brain injuries, as provided by Task & Purpose:

1. You only have a TBI if you lost consciousness. In fact, most experts agree that loss of consciousness is a necessary symptom of TBI.

2. Without blood, the TBI must not be that serious. Some brain injuries are open, which likely leads to external bleeding. Closed head injuries, which are more common, may look less scary, but may be equally damaging. The victim could be suffering internal bleeding, edema or intracranial pressure, among other symptoms.

3. If the victim seems fine, they are fine. TBI symptoms can be subtle, yet pervasive. The victim may insist that he or she is not hurt, and might seem to be all right.

4. Mild TBIs are not a big deal. Also known as concussions, mild TBIs can cause cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems.

In general, if you sustain a blow to the head, you very likely should get checked out by a medical professional. Without treatment, any brain trauma you suffered could grow even worse.