Nearly 1.5 million U.S. veterans call Florida their home. After their noble sacrifices in the armed forces, these vets often experience life-changing injuries related to their service. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) cause some of the most severe life-changing physical and emotional changes.
The medical community defines a TBI as brain injuries involving a sudden trauma. A TBI typically occurs either when the head comes into violent contact with another object or when an object pierces the skull.
Causes of TBI in veterans
For veterans serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the repeated use of improvised explosive devices contributes to the number of TBI cases. Other common causes of TBI in veterans include:
- Bullets penetrating the skull
- Penetrating shrapnel injuries
- Rollover accidents
- Personal assaults
Physical effects of a TBI
Some physical effects of a TBI may occur immediately. You may notice others until months after your initial injury. Veterans with a TBI can expect any of the following:
- Weakness in the limbs
- Vision and hearing problems
- Memory difficulty
- Concentration problems
- Increased pneumonia
Individuals with a TBI may not immediately notice them. If they do detect the effects, they may not attribute them to the TBI. Depression and growing numbers of suicide result from veteran’s TBIs. Other emotional effects include:
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
TBI veteran benefits
Veterans with TBI must be able to demonstrate that the condition affects their civilian life. If they meet that condition, they may qualify for disability benefits from Veterans Affairs. If the VA denies those claims, veterans may pursue lawsuits against the military, as long as they are no longer on active duty.
Never underestimate a TBI’s impact
Veterans who sustained a TBI during active duty may experience long-term emotional and physical side effects. Both veterans and the VA should recognize a TBI as a service-related disability.