What Are the Symptoms of Brain Damage Due to Lack of Oxygen?

Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause cognitive symptoms such as difficulties in self-expression and understanding others as well as behavioral symptoms, including heightened aggressiveness and flat affect, states WebMD. Slurred speech and seizures are physical signs of brain damage; spatial disorientation and difficulty balancing are perceptual symptoms.

Traumatic and acquired brain damage symptoms are categorized into four major areas: physical, emotional, cognitive and perceptual, explains WebMD. Frequent headaches, extreme tiredness, sensitivity to visual stimulation and paralysis are common physical results of oxygen deprivation to the brain. In severe cases, loss of consciousness results. Individuals may display a reduced ability to tolerate stress along with impatient and irritable characteristics. Processing information, grasping abstract concepts and making decisions can be challenging; attention span may be short.

Memory loss is possible with brain damage, as well as a distorted sense of time and hypersensitivity to pain, notes WebMD. There are often disruptions in the senses, such as changes in hearing, smell, taste, vision and tactile perceptions. Teenage and young adult males are most at risk for traumatic brain injury because of the preponderance of high-risk behaviors engaged in by the age group, such as physical violence, sports and athletic pursuits that result in injuries and falls, and reckless driving culminating in automobile accidents.