Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education Web site.
Information from Your Family Doctor
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Am Fam Physician. 2012 Dec 1;86(11):online.See related article on mild traumatic brain injury.
What is mild traumatic brain injury?
It is an injury to the brain caused by some type of outside force. It is similar to a concussion. It may result from a fall or car crash, from an object hitting your head, or it may occur during some sports. With this type of injury, a loss of consciousness, amnesia, or changes in your mental state usually occur.
What are the symptoms?
Headaches are the most common symptom. You may also have nausea, blurry vision, dizziness, fatigue, sensitivity to light, or trouble sleeping. Most of these symptoms usually improve within 24 hours. You may have problems thinking or focusing, or notice changes in your behavior and physical health. Repeat injury may lead to more long-term or worse symptoms.
How is it treated?
Your doctor will monitor your activities and make sure you get enough rest while you slowly return to your daily routine. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines or other treatments to ease your symptoms. If your symptoms persist, you may need to see a specialist.
What should I do if I have a possible brain injury?
Go to your doctor for a complete physical exam. The doctor will assess your reflexes, posture, vision, muscles, and bones. You may also need tests to measure your mental skills and wellbeing.
Where can I get more information?
Brain Injury Association of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Defense Centers of Excellence
This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at http://familydoctor.org.
This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.
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