Anytime you suffer a serious blow to the head, you run the risk of a traumatic brain injury. Depending on whether your brain injury is mild, moderate or severe in nature, you may experience relatively minimal symptoms that subside within a few days, or you may experience lifelong effects that can impact everything from your ability to make a living to your capacity to maintain personal relationships.
When you suffer a TBI, your brain is affected, and it stops functioning in the manner it typically does. TBIs, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contributed to the deaths of about 50,000 people in 2013 alone, and they are also a major cause of injuries and emergency room visits each year. So, what is it that leads so many Americans to suffer them?
Top causes of TBIs
Studies indicate that slips and falls are the more prevalent cause of TBI in the United States, with 1.3 million Americans suffering fall-related TBIs in 2013 alone. As you might expect, certain age groups face a higher risk of a brain injury that results from a fall, with the youngest and oldest Americans most likely to suffer this type of head injury. Those over 75, for example, are most at risk of dying because of a TBI.
Getting hit by objects is the second-most common cause of TBI in the United States, with about 15 percent of all TBI-related fatalities, emergency room and hospital visits involving victims struck by something. The third most common cause of TBIs in America is car accidents, which play a role in about 14 percent of TBI-related fatalities, emergency room and hospital visits. Self-harm is another, less-common cause of TBI, and others yet are caused by unknown or unidentifiable factors.
Some signs of TBI do not develop until a while after the initial head injury occurs. However, because the potential effects of TBI can prove so severe, it is wise to seek immediate medical treatment as soon as you suspect a possible head injury.