Traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by exposure to explosions is common among Veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI is an injury to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain.
If you suspect that you have a TBI, go to your nearest VA health care facility for TBI screening.
For Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND), the sources of blast injury most often are improvised explosive devices (IED), also called roadside bombs; artillery, rocket and mortar shells, traps, aerial bombs, and rocket-propelled grenades. TBIs also can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls or any incident involving a sudden blow or jolt to the head.
Even a mild TBI, also known as a concussion, can affect a person’s physical functioning and mental health.
About 90 percent of TBIs are mild, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.
Immediately after the incident, common symptoms include dizziness, confusion, or “seeing stars;” no memory of the incident; and loss of consciousness or feeling “knocked out.”
Later on, symptoms include:
You should be screened for TBI if you experienced any of the following during your military service:
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