A brain injury refers to any damage that occurs to the brain, disrupting its normal function. This damage can result from various causes, such as in a car accident.
Brain injuries can range from mild to severe, and their effects can be temporary or long-lasting. If you sustained trauma to your head in an accident, knowing some of the common signs of a brain injury can help you know when to seek medical attention.
Changes in cognitive function
In the U.S., according to the International Brain Injury Association, approximately a million people receive treatment for a brain injury in the hospital each year, and many patients experience disruptions in cognitive function. One of the primary indicators of a brain injury is a noticeable change in cognitive function and this can include difficulties with memory, concentration and decision-making.
Frequent and persistent headaches following an accident could signify a brain injury. These headaches may not respond to over-the-counter pain relievers and may come along with nausea or sensitivity to light.
Impaired coordination and balance
If you have a brain injury, you may exhibit impaired coordination and balance. If you are having difficulty walking, standing or coordinating movements, it is important to consider the possibility of a brain injury.
Changes in mood and behavior
A noticeable shift in mood or behavior can be indicative of a brain injury. This may manifest as increased irritability, mood swings or heightened emotional responses to situations that would not have triggered such reactions before.
Speech and language difficulties
Difficulty in articulating thoughts, slurred speech or problems understanding and processing language are common signs of a brain injury. If you are struggling to communicate effectively, this warrants medical attention.
Fatigue and sleep disturbances
Unexplained fatigue or disruptions in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness, can be symptoms of a brain injury. These changes may occur even if you are not engaged in physically demanding activities.
Following a car accident or another type of accident, the symptoms of a brain injury may not manifest themselves right away. While you may experience some symptoms right away, others may take days or even weeks to appear.