When a Traumatic Brain Injury Alters Your Senses

traumatic brain injury

Did you know that moderate to severe traumatic brain injury cases often worsen over time, with about 30% of TBI cases showing no improvement five years after the injury, as reported by the CDC?

Additionally, some TBI survivors may encounter another challenge: traumatic anosmia, the loss of their sense of smell. While TBIs typically result from head trauma, they can also occur due to penetrating brain injuries, such as gunshot wounds to the head.

As a result, TBIs can affect individuals in a multitude of ways, impacting them emotionally, cognitively, and sensorily, often leaving a lasting mark that may persist for a lifetime.

Physical Challenges

Most TBIs are caused by falls, but they can also result from auto accidents or assaults. Physical repercussions may include:

– Sleep disturbances

– Persistent fatigue

– Changes in appetite

– Swallowing difficulties

– Paralysis

– Chronic pain

– Loss of bladder or bowel control

– Seizures

Cognitive Impairments

Many TBI survivors grapple with headaches, concentration issues, memory deficits, and confusion. Some may also experience perseveration, the repetitive use of gestures or words.

Communication Hurdles

TBIs can disrupt a person’s ability to communicate, leading to speech difficulties. For instance, aphasia may develop, causing problems with expressing ideas or understanding spoken language. This can be further categorized into receptive aphasia (trouble comprehending speech) and expressive aphasia (difficulty articulating thoughts).

Vision and Hearing Complications

Some TBI victims may experience vision problems like double or blurred vision, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), or heightened sensitivity to light (photophobia). Hearing issues, including ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and sound sensitivity, can also arise.

Emotional and Social Challenges

TBIs can give rise to social-emotional difficulties, including mood swings, irritability, and even aggression.

Sensory Disruption

When specific areas of the brain are affected by a TBI, sensory integration problems can arise, affecting sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell.

Challenges of Traumatic Anosmia

Anosmia, the diminished sense of smell, can result from a TBI when the olfactory nerve, responsible for transmitting scent information from the nose to the brain, is damaged. The prognosis for recovery depends on the extent of nerve damage.

Causes of Olfactory Nerve Trauma

Trauma to the olfactory nerve often occurs when the ethmoid bone in the face, which separates the upper nasal cavity and the bottom of the eye sockets, is fractured. This can happen during:

– Vehicle accidents where the face hits the steering wheel or dashboard

– Slip and fall incidents

Seek Legal Counsel for TBI Cases

Sadly, insurance companies sometimes underestimate the significance of losing one’s sense of smell. However, traumatic anosmia can be life-altering, as it may prevent you from detecting hazards like smoke or harmful chemicals, potentially endangering your health and safety.

Furthermore, the loss of smell can disrupt your sense of taste, leading to issues like malnutrition and unhealthy weight loss. Upon discovering your loss of smell, it’s crucial to consult a medical specialist in olfactory dysfunction promptly.

Insurance companies or defendants in TBI personal injury claims may downplay such injuries, prioritizing profits over your well-being. Nevertheless, the loss of smell, like other TBI conditions, should never be taken lightly.

Know Your Rights for Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve suffered a loss of smell due to a traumatic brain injury or face any other injury-related condition, you need to act swiftly in California. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims related to TBI is two years from the injury date. If you discover the injury later, you have one year from the discovery date to file your claim.

Contact Belal Hamideh Law for Expert Guidance

To learn more about your rights regarding personal injury claims related to TBI or traumatic anosmia, get in touch with Belal Hamideh Law for a consultation at (562) 526-1224 today.