You have likely heard of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but you might not know how often these injuries occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), each day 153 Americans die from TBI injuries. Of course, not all TBI are deadly. Some brain injuries send injured people to the emergency room, and some go untreated.

A TBI happens when you suffer a blow or jolt to the head. The impact to the head disrupts normal brain function. It can be temporary or permanent. Here are four of the most common ways TBIs occur.

Falling

The most often reported cause of a TBI is a fall. You could fall from a ladder, down the stairs, on an icy sidewalk or even in the bathtub.

Participating in sports

You are probably familiar with famous football players suffering concussions and other brain injuries. But you do not have to a pro athlete to get hurt while playing sports. A blow to the head while boxing, playing baseball or participating in basketball game can also happen. A fall off your skateboard or scooter may also lead to a TBI.

Vehicle accidents

When you are in a car accident, your head may strike an object in your car or something may come loose and strike you. Even the impact of a collision can be enough to cause a TBI.

Being struck by or against an object

You could get hit by falling debris walking down the sidewalk. Or you may be on the jobsite, get hit by a forklift and get pushed into a wall. This happens more than you may think.

It can be tough to know if you have a TBI because the symptoms might not appear immediately. However, if you are in an accident, watch for certain symptoms. You may have a TBI if you:

  • Lose consciousness
  • Feel confused or disoriented
  • Experience nausea or vomiting
  • Have difficulty with speech
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Have a persistent headache
  • Feel dizzy
  • Are sensitive to light or sound
  • Have difficulty remembering things or concentrating
  • Have dramatic mood changes

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a TBI. You should seek medical help immediately, if you experience these following a blow to the head.