Traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, are among the most common injuries veterans suffer from, but are also one of the most poorly understood and the most often missed. It’s estimated that 17.3 percent of all post-9/11 veterans, or a little more than one in six, suffer from some form of TBI, according to a study by the National Institute of Health. Because of the difficulties in identifying TBI, however, many veterans struggle with these issues alone.
What is a TBI?
Traumatic brain injury is the broad term for any head injury that results in damage to the brain. While most TBIs are considered mild and have few long-term effects, more severe TBIs can result in substantial long-term medical problems. A TBI can manifest in a variety of ways, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty waking up or falling asleep
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty speaking
What Makes a TBI So Dangerous?
The biggest danger of a TBI does not necessarily come from the symptoms themselves. Rather, the biggest problem with a TBI is that its symptoms are often misattributed to other, more mundane injuries and illnesses. People who suffer a headache after an accident, for example, may assume they have a regular migraine, not a TBI. Someone who suffers from difficulties with their mood or anxiety might assume their problems are purely psychological, rather than neurological.
This results in TBIs often going undetected for weeks, months, or even years after the injury occurs. This means their symptoms may go untreated, or be treated improperly, resulting in a heightened risk of medical complications. It also means it can be harder to tie their symptoms to the injury that caused it.
Why Do Veterans Suffer From TBIs So Often?
Veterans are at a high risk of suffering a TBI due to the dangerous situations they are often put in. The three most common causes of TBIs in soldiers are from blasts, objects impacting their skulls, and fall injuries, with the majority of these injuries sustained during combat. In fact, it is this proximity to combat situations that puts veterans at such a high risk of a TBI, which is why any veteran suffering from the aforementioned symptoms should be screened for a TBI. With a formal diagnosis, they may be able to access disability benefits that can help them get treatment for their ailments.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.