Closed Head Injury Symptoms

Written by Shirley Parker
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The symptoms of a closed head injury may show up immediately or may occur later. If a person lapses into unconsciousness, even briefly, there's probably injury. Fluid draining from the ears or nose generally occurs within minutes. Pain in the head or neck, paralysis, loss of muscle control, dizziness, or confusion all indicate probable brain injury.

A person who gets up and walks around right after a blow to the head or the head being jerked around--either back and forth, or side to side--may still be suffering from a concussion or other injury. That individual still needs medical evaluation. It's disturbing to think about, but some doctors fail to recognize closed head injuries and don't treat suffering patients properly, if at all. If a CT-scan doesn't show any obvious damage, doctors may prescribe painkiller, but that might only mask symptoms.

The following physical symptoms may result from any type of fall or vehicle accident that involves the head or neck. Any of them indicate that a likely closed head injury has been suffered. (In fact, multiple symptoms aren't uncommon.) They are: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, problems with concentration, vision changes, no appetite, tinnitus, fatigue, insomnia, light or noise hurting eyes or ears, food no longer tasting the same, and things smelling different.

Social or Behavioral Changes

Distressing for the patient, as well as friends and relatives, are personality changes. The person may show increased hostility, or irritability over things he previously took in stride. Increased anxiety may be so obvious as to be annoying, or the person may be a lot weepier than before. These changes can seriously interfere with job responsibilities and render the person unpopular with coworkers and the boss.


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