Myths and Facts About Traumatic Brain Injuries

Jan 08, 2024
Myths and Facts About Traumatic Brain Injuries
Myths and disinformation surrounding traumatic brain injuries can cloud your judgment of what to do in the event of one. Learn the facts and dispel the myths in this month’s blog.

Some traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) result in lifelong symptoms or changes in cognition. Individualized rehabilitation services can help you recover and restore function after a brain injury. Our multidisciplinary team at Delaware NeuroRehab in Dover, Delaware, is here to help. 

If you’re not familiar with concussions and other TBIs, now is an excellent time to learn. Recognizing the myths and facts about traumatic brain injuries helps you be prepared and proactive if you or a loved one sustains a TBI — it could make a difference in your recovery. 

What is a TBI?

Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that impact your brain and its function. These injuries can happen under many circumstances due to an impact on your head or an intense jolt to your head and body. 


TBIs can range from mild to severe and vary in their signs and symptoms. You might make a full recovery with a little rest and rehab, or you might experience lifelong changes because of the damage to your brain. Some symptoms appear immediately, while others may show up days or weeks after the injury-causing event. 

Even if you don’t notice any immediate symptoms or changes, you should always consult a physician immediately after sustaining a possible brain injury.

Recognizing the signs of a brain injury

TBIs can cause a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms based on the parts of your brain affected by the injury. Following the traumatic event, watch for symptoms like the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Speech problems
  • Confusion
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Ear ringing
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Mood swings
  • Memory problems
  • Disorientation

You may or may not lose consciousness in the event of a TBI.

Dispelling the myths about traumatic brain injuries

Let’s review some common myths about brain injuries you might’ve heard before:

1. Your brain halts recovery after two years

Improvements are possible years and even decades after the injury with the proper treatment and rehabilitation. Because of neuroplasticity, your brain is constantly reorganizing and building connections. Neuroplasticity is a vital factor in TBI recovery. 

2. A concussion isn’t serious and doesn’t always need medical attention

Concussions are common, affecting nearly 4 million people yearly in the United States. Despite their prevalence and the fact that many go unreported, you should always seek medical attention if you suspect a concussion. A concussion is on the milder end of the TBI spectrum, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause permanent harm. While many people recover in weeks, others experience lifelong symptoms after a seemingly mild TBI. 

3. If you didn’t hit your head, you don’t have a traumatic brain injury

Let’s say you get in a slow-speed motor vehicle accident in which you’re jostled, but you don’t hit your head. You might assume you don’t have a traumatic brain injury because there was no impact to your head. However, it’s possible to get a concussion alongside a whiplash injury because of the whipping motion of your head. 

Your brain may have been knocked around inside your skull during the jostling, resulting in a TBI. You should consult with a physician in cases like these just in case you have a TBI or other internal injuries. 

4. You shouldn’t sleep after sustaining a concussion

After sustaining a concussion, you might have heard you must avoid falling asleep to prevent worsening your brain injury. This is a common misconception. You can and should get plenty of rest and sleep following a TBI. 

5. Athletes are at the highest risk for traumatic brain injuries

You hear a lot about athletes in contact sports and extreme sports sustaining traumatic brain injuries, often repeatedly, throughout their careers. 

While athletes are at a higher-than-average risk for TBIs, you could be at higher risk without knowing it. Falls account for half of all TBI hospitalizations and are a leading cause of TBIs. Traumatic brain injuries are also common in car accidents and physical violence. 

Concussions and TBIs are commonly misunderstood. Knowledge empowers you to prevent or manage a brain injury. To learn more about TBIs and rehabilitation services, call Delaware NeuroRehab or book an appointment online today.