What is a Head Injury?
Any form of damage to the brain, skull, or scalp is a head injury. This can range from a minor bump or bruise to a traumatic brain injury. Concussions, skull fractures, and scalp wounds are common head injuries. The effects and treatments differ depending on what has caused the head injury and how serious it is, the effects and treatments differ greatly.
Head injuries can be closed or open. Any accident that does not crack the skull is a closed-head injury. One in which something breaks your scalp and skull and enters your brain is an open head injury.
It can be difficult to determine how bad a head injury is just by looking. Some minor head injuries bleed a great deal, while some major injuries do not bleed at all. It’s necessary to seriously treat all head injuries and have them checked by a doctor.
Causes of Head Injury
Head injuries, in general, can be split into two groups depending on what causes them. They may be either head injuries due to blows to the head or shaking head injuries.
In babies and small children, head injuries caused by shaking are most prevalent, but they can occur if you encounter violent shaking.Injuries to the head caused by a blow to the head are generally related to:
- Vehicle accidents
- Physical assaults
- Sports-related accidents
Your skull will shield your brain from significant harm in most instances. Injuries severe enough to cause head injury can also be associated with spinal injuries.
Types Of Head Injuries
A hematoma is clotting or accumulation of blood outside the blood vessels. If a hematoma occurs in the brain, it can be very dangerous. The clotting will contribute to pressure building up inside the brain. This can cause you to lose consciousness or cause irreversible damage to your brain.
Uncontrolled bleeding is a hemorrhage. In the area surrounding your brain, there could be bleeding, called a subarachnoid haemorrhage, or bleeding, or intracerebral haemorrhage, inside your brain tissue.
Subarachnoid hemorrhages also cause vomiting and headaches. The magnitude of intracerebral hemorrhages depends on how much bleeding there is, but pressure build-up can be caused over time by any blood volume.
When the effect on the head is serious enough to cause brain damage, a concussion occurs. It’s thought to be the consequence of the brain touching your skull’s hard walls or the forces of sudden acceleration and deceleration. The loss of function associated with a concussion is temporary, generally speaking. Repeated concussions, however, will eventually prove dangerous.
Edema, or swelling may result from any brain injury. Many injuries cause the surrounding tissues to swell, but when it happens in your brain, it’s more serious. To handle the swelling, the skull can’t expand. This contributes to an accumulation of pressure in your brain that causes your brain to press against your skull.
Your skull does not have bone marrow, unlike other bones in your body. This makes the skull incredibly solid and hard to crack. A fractured skull is unable to withstand a blow’s effects, making it more likely that the brain will also be damaged.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Diffuse axonal damage (sheer injury) is a brain injury that does not cause bleeding but harms the cells of the brain. The damage to the cells of the brain results in their failure to function. It can lead to swelling as well, causing further damage. A diffuse axonal injury is one of the most dangerous types of head injury, although it is not as outwardly visible as other forms of brain injury.
Symptoms Of A Head Injury
Your head has more blood vessels than any other part of the body, so a major concern about head injury is bleeding on the surface of your brain or inside your brain. Not all head injuries, however, cause bleeding.
Being aware of other symptoms is important. Many signs of serious damage to the brain won’t show instantly. For several days after you hit your head, you can still begin monitoring your symptoms.Symptoms of head injury also include
- Spinning sensation
- Mild confusion
- Temporary ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- “Tired” eyes
- Sensitivity to noise and light
- Loss of consciousness
- Balance or coordination problems
- Serious disorientation
- Inability to focus the eyes
- Abnormal eye movements
- Loss of muscle control
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Memory loss
- Changes in mood
Head Injuries Vs Minor Bumps
A head bump is a normal injury that normally does not cause serious issues. There is, however, no specific point at which a physician can define harm as a head injury. Treating head trauma with minimal to no symptoms at home is usually possible. However, if these occur, it is important to know about the symptoms of a concussion and see a doctor.
When To See A Doctor
Instant care is needed for moderate and serious head injuries. An individual should also seek medical advice if the effects of a mild head injury last for more than 2 weeks.
The signs of a concussion do not always instantly show. Often, days or weeks after the injury, a person may experience initial symptoms.
Head injuries should always be taken seriously by people. They can talk to a doctor if anyone is worried about their symptoms, even after a minor injury.
How Is A Concussion Diagnosed By Doctors?
A doctor would ask how the accident occurred and about the medical history of a case. The head, ears, and neck will also be looked at carefully
Mental confusion may also be caused by concussions. A physician can ask questions or do tests to check the memory, attention, or problem-solving capacity of an individual.To diagnose a concussion, they can also use the Glasgow coma scale. Doctors will examine the following
- ability to open their eyes
- ability to communicate
- a motor response, such as bending an arm at the elbow
- Using a seatbelt while in a car
- When cycling or riding a motorbike, wearing a helmet
- Playing contact sports ignoring safety protocols
Head Injury Treatment
Head injury care depends on both the form and severity of the injury.
For mild head trauma, the site of the injury sometimes has no signs other than pain. You may be advised to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain in these situations.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or aspirin, should not be used (Bayer). These can worsen any bleeding. Your doctor can use sutures or staples to cover it if you have an open wound. Then they will cover it with a bandage.
You can always watch your condition and make sure that it does not get worse, even though your injury seems minor. It’s not true that after you have hurt your head, you can not go to sleep. But, to search for any new symptoms, you can wake up every two hours or so. When you have some new or worsening symptoms, you can go back to the doctor.
If you have a severe head injury, you will need to be hospitalized. Your condition will depend upon the care you receive at the hospital.Treatment for serious injuries to the head can include:
You could be given anti-seizure medicine if you’ve had a traumatic brain injury. In the week following the accident, you’re at risk for seizures.
If your injury has induced pressure deposition in your brain, you will be given diuretics. Diuretics cause the excretion of more fluids. This could help to ease the strain.
You could be given drugs to place you in an induced coma if the injury is severe. If the blood vessels are weakened, this could be an effective therapy. Your brain does not require as much oxygen and nutrients as it usually does when you’re in a coma.
- Remove the hematoma
- Repair skull
- Release some of your skull’s pressure
You’ll most likely need surgery to restore full brain function if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result of your injury, the type of rehabilitation you get will depend on what functionality you have lost. People who have sustained a brain injury will also require support to recover mobility and voice.
Mild head injury:
Raised, swollen area due to a bruise or a bump. The scalp has a thin, superficial (shallow) cut. Headaches.
Moderate to a severe head injury:
Symptoms can include some of the advantages listed above: loss of consciousness. It’s a serious headache that doesn’t go anywhere.
At home, individuals will also treat minor head injuries. To minimize swelling, applying a cold pack to the area will help. An individual can also take Tylenol, but unless recommended by a doctor, he or she should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin.