Mild Brain Injury Symptoms

What happens when someone suffers a mild concussion?  Does their brain swell?  Do they lose consciousness?  What signs do you look for if a concussion gets worse?  If you have ever had a friend or loved one diagnosed with a mild brain injury, you may have asked these very same questions.  If you did you probably learned that a traumatic brain injury can be classified along a range from mild, moderate or even severe brain injury. If any brain functions is disrupted enough to cause confusion or even a loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes, then it could be classified as a mild injury. 

"The mild brain injury is the most common of all head injuries and is often overlooked at the time of the trauma. Most of the symptoms of brain injury in a mild brain injury are temporary, and only 15% of people with this level of brain injury have symptoms that last for more than a year."  

The brain injury is considered moderate, rather than mild, when the loss of consciousness lasts from a few minutes to a few hours, when the person is confused for a few days or a few weeks, or when any behavioral, cognitive, or physical impairments are sustained for several months or even permanently.

Brain Injury Symptoms Can Be Slow To Set In

Although CAT scans and an MRI may register as normal, patients still may experience head injury symptoms ranging from temporary to more permanent. They may appear normal initially, but they know they don’t feel quite right, that they’re not thinking normally. They may not either be aware of or admit the seriousness of their symptoms until they attempt daily activities. Yet, others may notice subtle behavioral or personality changes, though not detect the cause. When victims of mild brain injury become overly frustrated at not being able to perform typical tasks, they may ultimately seek medical attention.

Therefore, it’s critical to know some of the symptoms of brain injury to at least determine the degree of injury. Some mild brain injury symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of smell
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disturbance—too much or not enough
  • Sensitivity to sounds or light 
  • Blurred vision, ringing in ears, bad taste in mouth
  • Memory lapses
  • Balance problems 
  • Poor concentration and attention span
  • Being dazed, disoriented, getting lost 
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Mood changes or mood swings 

Mild brain injury is also called a concussion, minor head trauma, minor head injury, minor brain injury, minor traumatic brain injury, post-concussive syndrome, or traumatic head syndrome. Although it’s labeled “mild” brain injury, some physical, cognitive, and behavioral head injury symptoms may persist for months or even years.