Brain Injury Risk Heightened by Falls

The signs and symptoms of a brain injury are not always as clear as you might think. Most patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury can walk, talk, and give the appearance of a normally functioning person. There are, however, symptoms that point to brain trauma.

The month of March is set aside to increase the awareness of traumatic brain injuries, which can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls – particularly in people over age 75 – are the leading cause of brain injuries in the United States.

Those who care for the elderly should be aware of the symptoms of a brain injury. In a mild injury, a person might have a persistent headache, confused, or have blurred vision. Another symptoms is a lost of smell or taste. A more severe injury may cause vomiting, slurred speech or weakness in arms or legs.

In the elderly, the best way to prevent injury is to prevent falls. One way to prevent falls is to remove items in the home that can be a trip hazard such as small rugs or electric cords. Another way is to be aware of any medications that might increase dizziness or weakness, and to make sure that any vision problems are addressed.

For more information about preventing falls visit the CDC website.