Head and brain injuries affect individuals in different ways. Two people may face the same injury diagnosis and experience very disparate symptoms. Some symptoms may manifest immediately after the incident, while others may take time to appear. If you are worried you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury, always seek medical support. Through testing and medical evaluations, a medical professional can help you determine the right diagnosis and best course of treatment for your situation.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
If you are worried about a head or brain injury, watch out for the following indicators. Contact emergency services if you notice any severe or life-threatening symptoms. This list includes some of the most common symptoms of head and brain injuries:
- Unexplained or unusual headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulties with balance and/or coordination
- Extreme or unusual memory loss/amnesia
- Unusual changes in behaviors, moods, or personality
- Blurred vision, double vision, or an inability to focus
After an impact to the head, an individual should not spend time alone for the first 24-48 hours. Even if you think the injury was mild, ask someone to stay with you and monitor your recovery over a few days.
Types of Head and Brain Injuries
The field of head and brain injuries is constantly expanding and may include any number of injury types, levels of severity, and areas of tissue damaged. Some of the most common injuries that take place after sports incidents, car accidents, workplace incidents, and other accidents include:
A concussion occurs when the head is suddenly jolted, and the brain strikes the interior of the skull. Blunt force trauma, whiplash, and penetrative injuries can all cause concussions. In some cases, this type of injury may lead to loss of consciousness. A severe concussion may lead to complications such as internal bleeding or blood clots. Over time, repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage.
2. Anoxia and hypoxia.
Anoxia refers to complete loss of oxygen, while hypoxia refers to partial loss of oxygen. After a few minutes of oxygen deprivation, the brain begins to shut down. A prolonged lack of oxygen can lead to serious and permanent brain damage or death.
3. Skull fracture.
After a major blunt force trauma or penetrative injury, the skull may break around the brain. A skull fracture increases your brain’s vulnerability to injury from bone fragments or subsequent trauma.
Bullets and materials that impale the head can cause penetrative injuries. Depending on the area injured, victims may experience a range of symptoms from loss of language capabilities to the inability to maintain coordinated movements. In addition to cognitive dysfunction, these injuries may give rise to other conditions such as contusions or hemorrhaging.
5. Diffuse axonal.
Rapidly shaking the head of a child or adult can result in this type of injury. Anytime the brain moves in unnatural and rapid movements, a victim may suffer from nerve damage throughout the brain. Certain chemicals released during this process may also contribute to the level of severity.
Uncontrolled bleeding of any kind can cause various symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to severe headaches. Some individuals may require surgery to reduce pressure associated with fluid buildup.
Rating the Severity of Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries can cause mild symptoms that heal on their own with rest and self-care, or severe and permanent symptoms that forever change the individual’s life. With any level of head or brain injury, a victim may face numerous medical expenses, time away from work, and other losses. If you were involved in an accident someone else caused and you suffered a brain or head injury, you can pursue legal action against the responsible party. Talk to an attorney about your ability to secure compensation to cover the losses associated with the accident and your injury.
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