Many medical diagnoses and serious injuries can have complex names or counter-intuitive descriptions. People often get confused or misinterpret what their actual injury means. A common source of confusion is when a concussion or traumatic brain injury is labeled as "mild."
A mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) can be misleading as the term "mild" refers to the severity of the physical trauma that led to the injury rather than the severity of the symptoms themselves. Common symptoms can include blurred vision, persistent headaches, memory impairment, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound and loss of balance. For a mild brain injury, the issues are the same as a moderate to severe brain injury.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) cautions people suffering from a mild concussion or MTBI to remember six important notes.
- The recovery from a mild injury is not always quick.
- Recovery is often uneven.
- Create the best possible environment for recovery.
- Give yourself more time to complete things.
- Professional help is important.
- Support groups can be helpful.
If you were diagnosed with an MTBI - or you have a family member struggling with a similar condition - it is important to take it seriously. A brain injury can lead to personality changes, mood swings, memory loss and cognitive impairment. It is crucial to remember that the term "mild" in the diagnosis in no way reflects the severity of the symptoms you will face or the duration of your path to return to a healthy state. It might also be wise to discuss your accident and resulting injuries with an attorney skilled in handling traumatic brain injury cases.