It’s become a topic of hot debate in the sports world: traumatic brain injury. The movie “Concussion” has even pushed the NFL to change its policies.
These types of injuries are not limited to the sports field. They often occur in auto accidents. The symptoms can be subtle. Often people mention feeling cloudy. Diagnosis has been notoriously difficult as the medical field continues to learn more about the affects of brain injury.
The latest study published in the journal Neurology finds that TBI is often linked with sleep problems. In this post, we will describe some of the possible symptoms including disturbances to sleep.
Symptoms of a brain injury
The brain controls so many functions, that symptoms can appear strange and unrelated. It’s impossible to say exactly what a brain injury feels like for any one person.
The most commonly associated symptom is nausea. But you may have suffered a brain injury even if you did not become nauseous right after a car crash. Initial symptoms may include the following and appear in days or weeks after the accident:
- Headaches from mild to migraine grade with dizziness
- Blurry or double vision
- Memory issues from forgetting to brush your teeth to getting lost while driving to the store
- Difficulty thinking or processing information that would normally not take much effort
- Sensitivity to loud noise or ringing in the ears.
Research and awareness has allowed medical professionals to better link memory and cognitive problems with brain injury. However, the recent research also suggests some problems go unnoticed.
A new normal
While the researchers found that those who had suffered a brain injury struggled with daytime sleepiness, they were often unaware and did not report the problem. The participants were unable to link the chronic sleep problems with their injury.
The study authors propose that damage to brain can affect the sleep-wake cycle. This in turn can affect executive functions as well as cognition and memory.
Diagnosis is the first step and may involve seeing specialists. If you or a family member complains of feeling foggy or cloudy following an auto accident, speak with a personal injury attorney. This is the best way to ensure adequate compensation and maximum recovery.