What to Look for after a Bump or Blow to the Head
There’s a common misperception that, when you’ve had any trauma to your head or neck, unless you’ve lost consciousness, you’re fine. That’s simply not true. In fact, many serious head injuries involve no blackouts or unconsciousness. There are, however, telltale signs that you may have a concussion or serious TBI.
The Classic Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
As a general rule, there are three different types of symptoms you should look out for after any injury to your neck, brain or head: physical symptoms, sensory symptoms and cognitive symptoms. The degree and type of symptoms can help you quickly determine whether a TBI is mild, moderate or severe:
- Mild traumatic brain injury—Physically, you can expect a headache, dizziness or vertigo, fatigue, slurred speech and nausea or vomiting. There may also be changes in your sensory functions, such as increased sensitivity to sound or light, blurred vision, loss of the sense of smell or a foul taste in your mouth. With a mild TBI, you may lose consciousness for up to a couple minutes, and may experience mood changes or difficulties with memory or concentration.
- Moderate traumatic brain injury—This typically involves the loss of consciousness for a longer period of time, perhaps a few hours. Headaches associated with a moderate TBI tend to be persistent and often get worse with time. Likewise, nausea or vomiting can persist or increase. The sensory indications are similar to those caused by a mild TBI, but you can typically expect profound cognitive challenges, including confusion or loss of short term or long term memory.
- Severe traumatic brain injury—If you’ve lost consciousness for more than 24 hours, you have a serious TBI. Combativeness or agitation are also common signs of a severe TBI.
Many of the symptoms of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can take days or weeks to appear. For that reason, it’s essential that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician after any bump or blow to the head. Your doctor can make the necessary assessments and refer you to a specialist, if necessary.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience helping injured people who have suffered any type of concussion or traumatic brain injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.