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Signs of a Head Injury: What to Look Out for After an Accident

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Signs of a Head Injury: What to Look Out for After an Accident

After an accident, it's essential to look out for any signs of a head injury. Even if you don't think you hit your head, it's better to be cautious and get checked by a medical professional. Not every head injury requires a visit to the emergency room, but it's vital to be alert for signs that may indicate a severe problem.

Sometimes, it's easy to tell that something is wrong. Other times, the signals may not be as clear. If you're ever in doubt, there are a few signs of a head injury that you should look out for. If you've hit your head, even if you don't think it's hard enough to cause a concussion, watch for these signs and symptoms in the hours and days following the accident:

Within the First Few Hours of the Injury

The period after you've first injured your head is crucial. If you become aware of any of the following symptoms, it's essential to seek medical attention right away:

  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • One pupil is larger than the other
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Worsening headache

Within 1-2 Days After the Injury

Even if you didn't lose consciousness or have any other symptoms right after the accident, it's crucial to be aware of how you're feeling in the days following a head injury. Concussion symptoms can appear immediately after the injury or may not appear for days or weeks. Here are some signs you need to see a doctor:

  • Blurry vision or other changes in vision
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Dizziness or problems with balance
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Irritability or changes in mood
  • Persistent headache or neck pain
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

Why It's Important to Seek Medical Attention

Head injury is a serious matter. It can lead to long-term problems or even death. That's why it's essential to get medical attention right away if you think you have a concussion or head injury.

Here are a few long-term effects of head injuries:

1. Memory Problems

Loss of memory following a traumatic head injury can happen. The person may have trouble remembering new information or events. They may also have difficulty recalling memories before the injury.

Memory problems can make it hard to return to work or school, and can interfere with personal relationships.

2. Coordination and Balance Problems

Some people with a head injury may have trouble with coordination and balance. This can make everyday activities, like walking and driving, more complex.

Physical therapy is often used to help improve coordination and balance. Exercises that challenge the person's vestibular system (the part of the ear that helps with balance) can help them relearn how to keep their balance.

3. Personality Changes

This is one of the more difficult long-term effects of a head injury. The person may seem like a different person after the injury. They may be more irritable, impulsive or aggressive. These changes can be particularly hard for family and friends to deal with.

Stay Safe and Seek Medical Attention After a Head Injury

A bump on the head may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to severe problems. That's why you need to know the signs and symptoms of a head injury.

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