Never Ignore Head Injuries: Troublesome Signs to Watch For
The human brain is a delicate organ. Although it’s surrounded by a thick, protective skull, the brain itself is easily damaged, and even wounds that initially appear inconsequential can end up being life-changing and even dangerous. Read on to find out common causes of head injuries and what to do if you find yourself with an unexpected head wound.
There are two primary types of head injury: closed and open. Closed head injuries don’t break your skull, which can be as superficial as a cut or as deep as a concussion. Open injuries do break the skull, including instances where an object pierces the brain.
According to MedlinePlus, common causes of head injuries include car accidents, sports incidents, falls, and even physical assault. Car accidents in particular yield a high rate of head injuries, with many victims seeking out personal injury lawyers to present their case against insurance companies. Those involved in sporting accidents may also benefit from a personal injury lawyer, depending on the circumstances of the accident. While each of these incidents can put you at risk for a serious head injury, the skull does a great job protecting the brain in many cases.
Doctor’s Office or Hospital?
As Healthline notes, recognizing the difference between a minor head injury and a severe one is crucial. Headache, mild confusion, and some dizziness are to be expected with mild closed injuries, and it’s best to rest and minimize exertion until you can schedule an appointment with your doctor. However, the situation turns into an emergency with symptoms like seizures, vomiting, abnormal eye movements and memory loss. If you suffer any of these latter symptoms after a head injury, call 911 immediately.
The treatment a head wound needs depends on how badly you’re injured. Minor cuts and bruises will heal on their own, while deeper lacerations may require stitches or staples. For severe injuries, anti-seizure medication and hospitalization may be necessary. Contusions and hematomas, which are bruising and bleeding in the brain, can be identified on a CT scan or MRI image, while skull fractures may require a patient to be put into an induced coma. Modern science is revealing the increasingly severe nature of concussions as well — initial treatment often requires rest and medication, followed by concussion recovery therapy.
Take Care of Your Brain
As the center of our body’s functions and arguably what makes us “human,” the brain is the most important part of the entire human body. Though it may be tempting to brush off a head injury as “nothing,” avoiding medical treatment is a decision you’re sure to regret. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can cause long-term cognitive impairments, memory problems and mood swings. Victims of a more severe TBI may experience abnormal speech patterns, paralyzed limbs, and even comatose states. Even concussions can lead to long-term neurological impairment, so if you’ve hit your head, go to the doctor.