Head injuries have the potential to be very serious. It is usually the result of a blow to the scalp, skull, or brain and can be anything such as a simple or a mild bruise or bump to a severe blow to the head. Common injuries from a head trauma can include skull fractures, concussions, and even scalp wounds. What you need to know about head injury includes, among others, that treatment can vary depending on the original cause of the injury. It helps to know the different types of head injuries and how they affect you.
Potential and Common Causes of Head Injuries
There are two different types of head injuries depending on their cause. The first type of head injury develops as a result of sudden trauma to the head. Generally, this type of injury usually occurs as a result of falls, accidents with motor vehicles, assaults, or while playing sports.
Generally speaking, when you receive a sharp blow to the head, your brain is protected by the thickness of the skull so there is a lower risk of serious harm.
The second type of head injury occurs as a result of shaking. The most common case of this type of injury is the shaken baby syndrome whereby a baby or infant is shaken violently in such a way that brain damage occurs. Because babies have soft brains and their neck muscles are not fully developed yet, the violent shaking can cause the brain to rattle around inside the skull and smash into its sides.
Head Injury Symptoms to Be Aware Of
Head injury symptoms can also vary depending on its severity. Common symptoms for a minor injury include a spinning sensation, mild confusion, a headache, nausea, lightheadedness, and a temporary ringing of the ear.
In more severe cases, a patient may experience a loss of consciousness, inability to focus, vomiting, unusual eye movements, seizures, disorientation, memory loss, balance problems, failure to control the muscles, and possible mood changes.
When to Call the Doctor
What you need to know about head injury is not all head injuries require a doctor’s attention. While mild symptoms will usually go away by themselves, a doctor should always be called when any of the serious symptoms appear. Anytime someone loses consciousness, or if someone experiences confusion, or disorientation, you should be carefully monitored for at least one or two days after the accident, even if you don’t take the trip to the ER.
Because motion can often make an injury worse, it is best to call 911 and let the emergency services personnel transport you to a hospital rather than go by yourself. They have been trained to transport head injury patients without causing additional damage.
Treatment for head injuries can also vary widely. In milder cases, you might be given a couple of pain killers for the pain whereas if the injury is more severe professional help should be administered. In either case, avoid taking NSAIDs, which can cause additional bleeding among a host of other problems and difficulties.
What you need to know about head injury is that most of them leave no permanent damage or lasting consequences. However, there is always a possibility of permanent damage and changes in personality due to a cognitive disorder, so make sure that your injury is treated with the help of a healthcare professional.