There are multiple factors that can determine how a\u00a0traumatic brain injury (TBI) will impact a person. Depending on where the blow strikes the head, or if a person suffers a closed brain injury, or an object penetrates the skull, there may be serious complications that impact daily life or minor symptoms that diminish or disappear completely over time. Also, depending on the extent of the initial injury, it\u2019s often difficult to predict what the trajectory of a person\u2019s recovery will be.\nThough misunderstood and often unrecognized, TBI is not uncommon. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer TBI annually. In addition, 50,000 people die from a TBI each year, and 85,000 people suffer long-term disabilities as a result of TBI. Currently, there are more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. living with disabilities caused by TBI.\nHow Does Traumatic Brain Injury Happen?\nTBI can happen virtually anytime, anywhere. Any number of accidents or sports injuries can result in TBI. Some examples of how TBI can occur include:\n\nBeing struck by an object in the head\nStriking an object with your head (dashboard or the ground in a fall)\nBeing in the vicinity\u00a0of a blast or explosion (more common in military personnel)\n\nHow Severe Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?\nMost people are unaware of how severe and commonplace TBI can be. For example, a soccer player can sustain a TBI from a hard blow to the head and, even though he or she may remain conscious, there may be lingering effects, such as headaches, difficulty focusing, memory issues, mood swings, and frustration. Even with a \u201cmild\u201d TBI, the symptoms may be devastating to the individual and his or her family.\nWith a more severe TBI, such as a penetrating injury caused by a bullet or other object, the effects can be profound. Symptoms can range from severe impairment and loss of cognitive function to a comatose state. Survivors of severe TBI may have limited use of their arms, legs, difficulty with language or speech, loss of cognitive function, and emotional issues.\nThe following infographics illustrate some of the main causes of TBI, its symptoms, treatments, and potential long-term effects.\n\nIf you or someone you know has had a traumatic brain injury, they should receive immediate medical attention following the incident. Follow-up care may also be necessary depending upon the severity of TBI. To learn more about TBI and its short- and long-term effects, please visit the UPMC Center for Brain Injury website or call 1-877-AT-REHAB (28-73422).