There are many different types of injuries that can happen during a car accident, but one area that causes a lot of concern is injuries of the brain. There are a few different types of brain injuries, but they’re not always apparent immediately after the accident, which can be problematic or downright dangerous. Here are a few things to look out for and why you should seek treatment as soon as you can after an auto accident, even if you think you’re fine.
Types of Brain Injuries Caused by Auto Accidents
There are a few different brain injuries caused by auto accidents, which are termed traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Concussion. Concussions are one of the most familiar types of brain injuries, especially when it comes to car accidents. It’s the result when the brain receives trauma from impact, sudden momentum, or movement change.
Contusion. Contusion is another word for “bruise,” but when it involves the brain, it is more complicated than a bruise on your shin. It can even be serious enough that it requires surgical removal.
Coup-Contrecoup. This word describes contusions on both sides of the brain — the site of impact, and on the opposite side.
Diffuse Axonal. This type of injury can be caused by a strong rotation of the head, which causes brain structures to tear. Concussions are a mild form of diffuse axonal injury.
Penetration. Penetrating injuries are just like they sound — an object has penetrated through the head and into the brain.
Auto Accident Brain Injury Symptoms to Look Out For
Here are several symptoms you should be aware of when evaluating brain injuries caused by an auto accident.
- Difficulty thinking
- Slowed thinking or response times
- Concentration difficulty
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Coordination or balance difficulty
- Extreme exhaustion
- Low level of alertness
- Difficulty dealing with emotions
- Period of unconsciousness after the accident
- Numbness in extremities
- Dilated or uneven pupils
When and How to Seek Treatment of Brain Injuries
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s vital to be evaluated by a medical care professional as soon as you can. Finding the right auto injury doctor after an auto accident can save you more pain and stress. Even mild symptoms, such as a slight headache, can indicate there is something more serious going on.
On the flip side, you should still be seen even if you have zero symptoms. One of the hard parts about brain injuries is that it may not be immediately apparent that treatment is needed, as some symptoms can take days or even weeks to appear. This means any damage that has taken place remains untreated and can lead to additional, and perhaps more permanent, damage.
While some who have been in a car accident emerge unscathed, it’s crucial to seek a medical evaluation as soon as you can even if you “feel fine.” Sometimes there are brain injuries that you cannot see and don’t feel, but they can still have a profound effect if they remain untreated.
Car accidents can be a frightening experience, but if you know what to look out for, which symptoms are worrisome, and conditions that may result in silent symptoms, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. Getting a complete medical evaluation as soon as you can will help you get on your way to recovery if a problem is found, and if you’re A-OK, you’ll have peace of mind, which is priceless.