People may sustain a brain injury during a fall, being struck with an object, or other forms of trauma. Brain injuries range in severity, and their accompanying symptoms can also vary.

While some brain injuries resolve with time, some require treatment to reduce symptoms. This article will explore some of the long-term effects of an untreated brain injury and how to find treatment when you need it.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force harms the brain. The damage can be isolated to one region of the brain or spread throughout different areas. A TBI can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury that causes coma or death. There are two common forms of traumatic brain injury.

Closed brain injury

An injury that does not break the skull is called a closed brain injury. This type of injury causes the brain to bump against the skull’s interior, tearing or damaging the tissue or blood vessels.

Penetrating brain injury

When an object breaks the skull, the injury is known as a penetrating brain injury.

The effects of a brain injury depend on the severity of the damage and the areas affected.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Untreated Brain Injury?

The symptoms of mild brain injuries often disappear over time or with simple treatment. But more severe brain injuries may have long-lasting or permanent effects.

Here are some of the long-term effects of untreated brain injury.

Cognitive deficits

  • Coma
  • Decreased attention span
  • Difficulty with problem-solving
  • Decreased self-awareness
  • Trouble processing multiple pieces of information
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment

Motor deficits

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Tightening or shortening of muscles
  • Loss of balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty beginning an activity
  • Impaired swallowing
  • Loss of endurance

Sensory and perceptual deficits

  • Decreased sensitivity in areas of the body
  • Heightened sensitivity in some body parts
  • Double vision, limited range of sight, and other vision problems
  • Changes in hearing, touch, smell, sight, or taste

Communication deficits

  • Difficulty with speaking and understanding speech
  • Decreased vocabulary
  • Slow or hesitant speech
  • Difficulty identifying objects and their purpose
  • Impaired ability to write, read, or work with numbers

Functional deficits

  • Difficulty performing everyday activities like eating, getting dressed, or showering
  • Lack of organization
  • Loss of ability to drive

Social difficulties

  • Decreased social capacity that causes strain in interpersonal relationships
  • Trouble making friends
  • Inability to understand complex social interactions or cues

Personality differences

  • Loss of motivation
  • Unpredictable emotions
  • Irritability
  • Loss of inhibition, leading to aggression, low frustration tolerance, inappropriate sexual behavior, and other disruptive behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Seeking treatment for a brain injury can help you reduce or manage your symptoms. Brain injury treatment programs focus on improving functioning, cognitive ability, communication, and overall health. High-quality, evidence-based treatment can help people live healthier, more independent lives after a brain injury.

Find Brain Injury Treatment Now

Contact the Hartman Center to learn how brain injury treatment  can help you live a fuller, healthier life after sustaining a TBI. Learn about our programs or schedule a consultation by calling now.