Car accidents have the potential to cause a host of injuries. Yet, one of the most common and over-looked injuries is brain trauma. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations in the United States.
It is critical to understand the signs and symptoms of brain trauma, so you can spot an injury. Furthermore, you can get help as soon as possible.
What is traumatic brain damage?
The delicate human brain sits suspended in fluid within the skull cavity. Any sudden, forceful blow to the head can cause the soft tissue to reverberate with the cavity, hitting into the hard skull bone once or even multiple times. Each impact has the potential to cause bruising, bleeding and inflammation to the brain tissue.
Some damage may seem minor, as you may not notice any symptoms of an injury for days after the accident occurred. However, the damage may intensify as swelling in the brain occurs.
What are the signs and symptoms of an injury?
The symptoms of a brain injury will often vary depending on what area of the brain was injured, and how severe the injury is. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the symptoms of mild brain injuries may include the following:
- Persistent headaches, which grow in intensity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble seeing, hearing or communicating
- Fatigue or change in sleeping patterns
- Change in mood or behavior
Moderate to severe injuries may experience seizures, tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, slurred speech, trouble swallowing, lapse in memory and difficulty concentrating.
These symptoms can affect your ability to work, participate in activities and even carry out your daily tasks.
It is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible after being involved in a serious accident. Medical professionals can locate any brain damage and create a plan to rehabilitate those areas.