Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious health problem that can have long-lasting consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 230,000 people go to U.S. hospitals every year because of some form of TBI.
Despite its prevalence in society, numerous myths and misunderstandings persist regarding TBI. These misconceptions can prevent people from recognizing the signs and treatment options.
Myth #1: The effects are noticeable right away
A lot of people expect to experience headaches, confusion, blurry vision, fatigue and tinnitus right after an injury occurs. In reality, it can take days, weeks or even months to realize you have TBI. At this point, the injury may have escalated. With proper treatment, some sufferers may be able to recover sooner, but it is critical to see a doctor right away for a diagnosis. This is why you should seek proper medical attention after any car accident regardless of how you feel in the immediate aftermath.
Myth #2: Everyone with a TBI gets better
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury outcomes are difficult to predict. Some people simply require time to get better. Others will never fully recover and may live with the complications for the rest of their lives. Tens of thousands develop a long-term disability every year due to these injuries. Every case is different, and you need to talk to your doctor to see what course of action is ideal for you.
Myth #3: You know you have a TBI when you experience a loss of consciousness
Many TBI victims assume they suffered from a concussion or other traumatic brain injury after a car accident because they do not remember what immediately happened after the crash. However, this is a significant misconception. Not everyone with a TBI loses consciousness. However, the effect on the brain is still there. After any traumatic event, it is important to see a doctor to get tested and treated.