What’s the Difference Between a Concussion and a TBI and How Can LearningRx Help?
Car accidents, combat and contact sports. What do these three seemingly unrelated events all have in common?
Brain injury can occur in all three environments.
Brain injury can take different forms and range in severity from mild to severe and life threatening. Injuries can be closed brain injuries or penetrating brain injuries.
Closed brain injuries happen when the brain is jarred in the skull and commonly occur from car accidents, falls or sports. Penetrating brain injuries occur when an object punctures the skull and damages the brain tissue. Punctures typically happen as the result of gunshots, stabbings or from sharp debris in accidents.
While there are many similarities between signs of a concussion and a TBI, there are also some striking differences.
Let’s take a closer look...
What is a concussion?
Also known as a mild TBI, a concussion sometimes results from a closed brain injury. It can happen as the result of a direct blow to the head or, for example, a full-body collision on the soccer field.
Signs of a mild concussion can include:
- Ringing in the ears
Signs of a severe concussion include:
- Inability to wake up
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Confusion or memory loss/amnesia
Myth buster: Loss of consciousness with a concussion isn’t common— it only occurs 10% of the time. Also, dilated pupils aren’t a good indication of a concussion, especially if both pupils are dilated equally. Pupil dilation can occur any time the sympathetic nervous system kicks in and a person’s body goes into fight or flight mode. However, when one pupil is dilated more than the other, this can be indicative of a concussion and, as with any severe or persistent signs, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Mild concussions typically heal with time and rest. If symptoms are severe, it’s best to visit the hospital for further evaluation. Your doctor will likely perform a CT scan or MRI and assess any internal bleeding, skull fractures or inflammation. They will also check your vision, coordination and reflexes.
What is a TBI?
Now that we’ve touched on concussions, let’s talk about TBIs and what makes them different from concussions.
While a concussion is technically a mild form of TBI, the term “TBI” generally refers to a more serious condition.
Signs of a TBI can include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Issues with memory, focus, attention, thinking or other cognitive skills
If you suspect you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and are manifesting any symptoms, it’s best to go to the hospital immediately. In addition to a CT scan or MRI, your doctor will stabilize you and check your basic body functions. They will make sure you’re receiving oxygen to your brain and work to control your blood pressure if it becomes dysregulated. In severe cases, your doctor will perform surgery to repair the brain or remove hematomas or contusions.
At LearningRx, we don’t diagnose traumatic brain injury but oftentimes we can help people who suffer from the devastating effects of it lead a more well-adjusted life.
Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of TBI clients to boost weak cognitive functions that stem from TBI. Through powerful brain training exercises targeted to your specific needs, we help your brain create new neural pathways around the damaged areas, making functions such as short and long-term memory, attention, processing speed, planning and organizing, problem solving, reading and writing easier.
And the statistics speak for themselves.
We performed a study where we looked at 386 child and adult TBI clients who attended our clinics over the course of nine years. These clients made the greatest gains in long-term memory, auditory processing and broad attention. Long-term memory improved an average of 3.9 years over the course of our clients’ therapy.
Check out this hope-filled story from Jim, one of our past TBI clients!
If you’d like to learn more about how our brain training therapy can help you or a loved one regain some cognitive function, contact us here!