5 Most Overlooked Head Injury Symptoms
Head injuries can ruin lives and cause more pain and suffering than any other trauma, yet their symptoms can be difficult to catch and easy to downplay. Even mild head injuries can be life altering, while a catastrophic injury to the brain can render someone in a vegetative state for the remainder of their days.
Some of these symptoms may appear right away. Others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person resumes their everyday life. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand their problems and how the symptoms they are experiencing impact their daily activities.
These five symptoms of head injuries are often completely overlooked:
1) Whiplash or Neck Pain
While whiplash is one of the most common injuries after a car accident, many people associate it with the soft tissue damage and not as a symptom of a potential head injury. However, brain lesions can follow whiplash in some cases, although the exact correlation between the two isn’t understood yet. For most people, the pain of whiplash will not occur until six to twelve hours after the injury occurs though it may be one of the most immediate of the overlooked symptoms associated with brain injury. On its own, whiplash and a sore or stiff neck are not directly indicative of a more serious head injury, but when combined with other symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention.
2) Sleep or Fatigue Issues
Exhaustion or sleep disorders are among the more common symptoms of brain damage and can be difficult to self-diagnose until they persist for weeks or months. As a symptom of traumatic brain injury, this one may take several weeks or months before it’s really noticeable. Distinguishing whether your symptoms stem from a separate sleep disorder or a head injury can be a challenge, but there are several signs that might indicate something is wrong. They include:
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Sudden difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping significantly more than usual
- Loss of consciousness
- Inability to wake from sleep
As head injuries grow more severe, so too do their symptoms. Experiencing any type of cognitive disorder after an accident can be a sign of a life-threatening brain injury and should never be taken lightly, especially if symptoms persist. These issues may start out simple with phone numbers or things you have just read, but can progress to forgetting things you have done or even things you are discussing with others in the midst of conversations.
Common cognitive symptoms of brain damage can include:
- Difficulty processing information
- Difficulty in expressing thoughts
- Difficulty understanding others
- Shortened attention span
- Inability to understand abstract concepts
- Impaired decision-making ability
- Memory loss
Some people are inherently organized and suffer little with this side effect, while others may suddenly have difficulty with the most basic organizational tasks and activities. Many people suffering from TBI also find multitasking to be quite difficult. Focusing attention on one task can be problematic in its own right and people with brain injuries are often easily distracted from that. Factor in multiple instructions and it becomes even more difficult and frustrating for them.
5) Difficulties with Balance
Those with head injuries are likely to experience balance issues, especially when navigating stairs or uneven terrain and when getting into and out of a bathtub. These symptoms should be taken extremely seriously. If you or someone you know experiences balance issues, they should avoid walking unsupported and seek handrails or other people to help them avoid hurting themselves further while waiting for treatment.
Should You Speak with an Attorney?
If you suspect a brain injury in yourself or someone you love in the aftermath of an accident or injury, the first thing you need to do is get a definitive diagnosis. A good head injury attorney can help people with this devastating type of injury plead their cases in court.
Call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.