TBI Signs & Symptoms

TBI Skull Graphic
In our last post we learned that falls cause more than 81% of all TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) among adults aged 65 or older.  In this post we’ll identify some of the signs and symptoms of TBI.
So what are the signs that an older adult has had a TBI?  First, we must say that you should call your health care professional right away if you or someone you know has an injury to the head and you notice ANY of the items on this list.
Observable TBI Signs are:

  • Appearing dazed or stunned
  • Forgetting an instruction
  • Moving clumsily
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Losing consciousness (even briefly)
  • Showing mood, behavior, or personality changes – Being unable to recall events prior to and/or after a hit or fall

Here’s a list of symptoms reported by persons with TBI:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Sensation of feeling sluggish
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Not “feeling right” or “feeling down”
  • Mood changes, such as irritability, sadness, nervousness, anxiety, or acting more emotional than normal
  • Changes in sleep patterns

All family members, friends and caregivers should keep these signs & symptoms in mind as they interact with an older loved one.  TBI is serious and can be life threating, so call your health care professional right away if you notice ANY of the items on either list.
Look for our next post in this series which will cover preventing falls among older adults.

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