Head Injury (Brain Injury) - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms associated with a head injury in you or someone you know?

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What are the symptoms of a head injury?

The symptoms of head injury can vary from almost none to loss of consciousness and coma. As well, the symptoms may not necessarily occur immediately at the time of injury. While a brain injury occurs at the time of trauma, it may take time for enough swelling or bleeding to occur to cause symptoms that are recognizable.

Initial symptoms may include a change in mental status, meaning an alteration in the wakefulness of the patient. There may be loss of consciousness, lethargy, and confusion.

Head injury symptoms may also include:

  • vomiting,
  • difficulty tolerating bright lights,
  • leaking cerebrospinal fluide from the ear or nose,
  • bleeding from the ear,
  • speech difficulty,
  • paralysis,
  • difficulty swallowing, and
  • numbness of the body.

Other symptoms may be more subtle and include:

  • nausea,
  • dizziness,
  • irritability,
  • difficulty concentrating and thinking, and
  • amnesia.

Late signs of significant head injury and raised pressure within the brain and skull include a dilated pupil, high blood pressure, low pulse rate, and abnormal breathing pattern.

Coma may be present if the patient doesn't awaken completely and is defined as a prolonged episode of loss of consciousness. There are different levels of coma and the Glasgow Coma Scale is one way of measuring its depth.

Return to Head Injury (Brain Injury)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Wanda, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I received blunt force trauma to the back of my head. I did not lose consciousness. Five days later I started to sway all over the place, which never stopped till this day. I had a CT scan done but my MRI was clear. By day ten I suffered a migraine that presented itself like a stroke. For 3 months I vomited 10 times daily, went weak and numb throughout the body, had rapid heart rate and trouble breathing. I had extreme sweating sensations of water pouring all through my brain. I deteriorated 5 days later had a CT scan done.

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Comment from: Patty, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I missed a short step and fell against a cement wall, hitting my left forehead and back top, about one quarter of my head. This was yesterday. I had no immediate symptoms, but a large dent in my head and the pain from the blow. I have been icing it and taking Advil. At present my head is somewhat swollen and sore but I have no other symptoms.

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