One of the most common injuries a soldier can suffer today is a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury. This veterans disability occurs to thousands of soldiers and while sometimes the injury is obvious, other times, it is not, giving it the nickname, the invisible disability. Most people are familiar with the term, TBI, and are aware that this usually occurs from a concussion connected to an event such as a bomb exploding on the roadside, or from an actual impact made to the head. While it would not seem that veterans would have a difficult time obtaining benefits for their TBI, this injury is often hard to diagnose and treatment remains sketchy.
Brain injuries are difficult to treat due to the fact that so many functions are connected to brain activity and a serious TBI can prevent people from being able to hold down a regular job. While some symptoms of a TBI are obvious, such as difficulty with speaking, thought processes, comprehension, and even physical ability, others are much more subtle. Subtle symptoms can include a problem with constant headaches, changes in a person’s personality or behavior, sleep issues, loss of memory, and heightened sensitivity. It is important that someone with this type of veterans disability find a doctor who has an understanding of traumatic brain injuries. Correct diagnosis is important in order to obtain the benefits to which that veteran is eligible for.
Any time there is a brain injury, there is always the possibility that the injury and the effects of the injury are permanent. While some types of TBI can be successfully treated, doctors are still exploring this unknown territory and it is estimated that research is still years away from uncovering successful therapies for patients who suffer from this veterans disability. As a result, many patients suffering from TBI are simply unable to perform in a regular work environment and must rely on Social Security and veterans benefits in order to survive. Education is important in helping veterans recognize the symptoms of a TBI and being seen by a doctor who can confirm the existence of a brain injury.
Once the TBI has been confirmed, then the real struggle begins and this is figuring out the extent of the injury. Patients with this type of veterans disability often have to undergo several tests in order for doctors to try and determine how much brain damage has occurred from the injury. For the patients, this can be an emotionally trying time, especially because they now have to adjust to the possible life-long effects of the TBI.
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