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The head is the delicate part of the body. The human head protects the most important organ which is the brain. The brain is responsible for every single thing that happens in the body. An injury to the head can have terrible consequences on the health of the brain. However, it isn’t always easy to tell if you’ve sustained a head injury that has caused damage to the brain.
Many of us often don’t notice or simply disregard the subtle signs and symptoms of such an injury unless we see any actual bleeding. We often think that it is just a minor head bump or a minor accident. Little do we know that underneath the surface the little bump is already affecting our brain tissues.
Head injuries can cause long term brain damage that is irreversible and could change our lives forever. This is why it is so important to understand head injuries, to know what to look out for when we sustain one, and to be familiar with the best ways to treat them.
A head injury or traumatic brain injury is one that has an impact on your scalp, skull and brain. This happens when there is a severe and sudden bump or jolt to the head. The damage can be categorized into two groups; external and internal.
The external injury is caused by a blow on the head that only affects the scalp, while the internal injury is a severe bump in the head that affects the skull and have a major impact in the brain and blood vessels inside the skull.
Mild head injuries are not severe and will often not need any treatment. However, be cautious of any symptoms that may appear after a few days or even weeks which could indicate a more serious injury.
Severe Head Injury needs immediate medical attention because it may involve bleeding and serious brain damage. If it is not treated urgently, untold damage could be done in the long term.
The following list contains key signs and symptoms that you should watch out for if you or someone you love sustains a head injury. These could occur in the minutes, hours or days after the injury takes place.
This can be very serious because it results in bleeding of the brain. Subdural Hematoma occurs when a vein ruptures in your skull and brain surface. The subdural hematoma can be tested using MRI and CT scan.
This form of injury causes bleeding in and around your brain. That can cause nausea and vomiting and can lead to loss of consciousness. There are 2 types of hemorrhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage. Both are medical emergencies and can be life-threatening. They can be diagnosed via a CT scan.
This is a swelling that occurs throughout the brain or in the surrounding tissues of the brain, and it may cause increasing pressure in the skull.
A fracture of the skull or cranial bone is caused when the impact on the head is so severe that it breaks the incredibly thick, strong bone of the skull. Signs that you have skull fracture include swelling within the affected area, facial bruising, nosebleeds and/or bleeding from the ears.
Diffuse axonal injury:
This is a traumatic injury in the brain that does not cause bleeding. However, it causes damage to the brain cells which can lead to permanent brain damage.
This is the most common type of head injury. This type of brain injury is only temporary. However, it affects normal brain functions and causes problems with balance and coordination, concentration and memory.
Concussion occurs most often in contact sports such as american football or car accidents. This is because concussion is caused by a sudden and severe bump to the head. The brain actually bumps off the inside of the skull, which causes mild deterioration in brain cells.
While sustaining one concussion in your lifetime isn’t going to cause any major long term brain damage, living a life which involves regular concussions can lead to CTE, or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Sometimes the symptoms of a concussion won’t appear for a couple of days. This can make them more difficult to spot. However, it is important to keep an eye out for the following:
Head injuries are, unfortunately, a part of life. Young children bump their heads on an almost daily basis. Teens and young adults playing sports will bang their heads off eachother or the ground regularly. An elderly lady who trips and falls in her home will be likely to bump her head. Even something as simple as getting in and out of your car in a rush can result in a head injury. It is just a part of normal life.
The important thing to note, however, is that not all head injuries are the same. Even if you’ve hit your head and it doesn’t feel particularly sore, always remember that you do not know what is happening inside the skull.
When you have sustained a head injury, no matter how minor it may seem, be vigilant in watching out for symptoms. Never underestimate the damage that could have been caused, and always visit your family doctor immediately if you have any reason at all to be concerned.