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What are the signs of a serious head injury?

When severe, head injuries can have a lasting impact on your life. In some cases, you may need extended rehabilitation and therapy to recover from your injuries. And in others, a full recovery may never be possible, which can be devastating for you as well as your family.

Head injuries can occur for many reasons, including slip and fall accidents, car accidents, sports injuries, and more. While they cannot always be prevented, knowing the signs of a serious head injury ensures you get the medical help you need in a timely manner. The Mayo Clinic explains the signs and symptoms to look for to ensure you can take the proper actions.

Sensory changes

A major blow to the head can have a distinct impact on all the senses. Your ability to smell may be compromised and you may experience a ringing in the ears. Vision can also become blurry, and you may feel overly sensitive to bright lights. Any sensory problems after a head injury should be immediately assessed by a medical professional to evaluate the severity of the injuries.

Cognitive and mental issues

Problems thinking can also occur immediately after a head injury. Watch out for slurring of speech when speaking, confusion, and increasing agitation. Behaviors may appear odd or out of character to others. Loss of consciousness may also be an issue, and this state can last for a brief period or for hours. In serious cases, coma can also occur.

Physical issues

Physical symptoms of severe head injuries must also be taken seriously. Nausea and vomiting can occur, as can intense headaches and head pain which do not resolve on their own. Weakness and the extremities indicates a serious issue, as do seizures. Coordination can be affected, as can pupil dilation in one or both eyes.