Every year, countless people while they are engaged in their favourite sport, adventure activity or are travelling in a vehicle suffer from accidental head injuries. If not given prompt medical attention, these head injuries can lead to permanent disability, mental impairment, and even death. Read this blog to know more about head injuries and the steps you can take to prevent them.
What are head injuries?
Head injuries are injuries to the scalp, skull, or brain caused by trauma. The most common type of head injury, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that happens when the brain is jarred or shaken hard enough to bounce against the skull.
Understanding a concussion
The human brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected by the skull. Normally, the fluid around the brain acts like a cushion that protects the brain from banging into the skull. But if a person’s head or body is hit hard, the brain can crash into the skull and be injured. Some common ways a concussion can occur include fights, falls, playground injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while participating in any sport or activity such as football, boxing, hockey, soccer, skiing, or snowboarding. A concussion causes an alteration of a person’s mental status and can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Multiple concussions can have a long-lasting, cumulative life-changing effect.
Other head injuries
Other types of brain injuries are a contusion, which is a bruise on the brain that can cause swelling, and a hematoma, which is bleeding in the brain that collects and forms a clot. A skull fracture is another type of head injury that can affect the brain. Sometimes with a fracture, pieces of bone can cut into the brain and cause bleeding and other types of injury.
Signs and symptoms of a brain injury
● Dizziness or balance problems
● Double or fuzzy vision
● Feeling foggy or groggy
● Feeling sluggish or tired
● Memory loss
● Sensitivity to light or noise
● Sleep disturbance
● Trouble concentrating
● Trouble remembering
If you suffer from a head injury or see anyone else get a head injury, ensure that the concerned person receives prompt medical attention from a qualified doctor. X-rays may be used to check for potential skull fracture and stability of the spine. In some cases the doctor may ask for a CT scan or an MRI to check on the extent of the damage that occurred. More severe injuries may require surgery to relieve pressure from swelling.
How to avoid head injuries
● Wear a seat-belt every time you drive or ride in a car or other motor vehicle
● Never drive when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
● Make your home safer to prevent falls
● Wear a helmet for any activity that can cause a fall or impact to the head or neck.
Examples include bike riding, football, baseball, ATV riding, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, and horseback riding. Helmets help protect your skull from injury ‘