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What is TBI?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma (such as a blow or jolt to the head) causes damage to the brain.

TBI can also result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain.

Symptoms of mild TBI:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
  • Headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking

Symptoms of moderate or severe TBI

  • Same symptoms as mild TBI
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination


Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH)