TBI stands for traumatic brain injury, and the term can be used to describe a variety of conditions. Mild TBI involves a concussion, whereas severe TBI often occurs in polytrauma, or two or more severe injuries resulting from the same traumatic event.
Mild TBI symptoms include changes in thinking skills or behavior, headaches, and dizziness. Usually, these symptoms go away in weeks or months.
When polytrauma is involved, symptoms can be life-threatening and often involve long-term functional disabilities.
All veterans who served in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq are screened for TBI as soon as they come to the VA. The VA has now screened over one million veterans for TBI as of January 2016. If a veteran screens positive for TBI, he or she will receive a diagnosis and a care plan that includes rehabilitative services where necessary.
Brain injuries often cause changes in consciousness, the most mild of which involves feeling dazed or disoriented, and more serious brain injuries can result in comas. The most common causes of TBI are vehicle accidents and falls.
Any veteran who recently experienced a TBI or believes he or she suffered one in the past should seek treatment at the VA as soon as possible.