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Hidden brain injuries could turn life-threatening: Seek care

Auto collisions often cause serious injuries, but few are as dangerous as a hidden brain injury. After a crash, you may not always see the signs of a significant head injury right away because it takes time for the brain to swell or for blood to pool between the skull and brain.

The problem with hidden brain injuries is that the symptoms of the injury may develop slowly. This is why a brain injury of this kind may be called a delayed-onset injury. While a mild headache or bout of nausea may be present at first, the injury quickly worsens and may even become life-threatening over the next several hours or days.

What symptoms of a brain injury shouldn’t you ignore?

To start with, you may not have significant symptoms. A mild headache, blurry vision, or sore neck might be irritating, but you could brush them off.

However, as your symptoms worsen, you may have a more challenging time ignoring them. Worsening symptoms, such as sensitivity to light and sound, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, or coma, have to be addressed immediately.

Since it’s not always easy to tell if you have a brain injury, the best option is to seek medical care after a crash, even when you think you’re fine. At the hospital, it’s possible to perform computerized tomography scans and use other imaging tests to verify that there is no damage to the brain. These tests are sensitive and may pick up the signs of brain trauma before you notice them yourself.

After you see a doctor, your brain injury will be categorized. In some cases, all you’ll need to do is take some anti-inflammatory medications and keep a watchful eye on your symptoms. In others, you may need to have emergency surgery to reduce the pressure on your brain or address a bleed that puts your life at risk.

Brain injuries should not be ignored. If you have hit your head, were in a severe, high-speed crash, or have mild symptoms of a brain injury, seek help. After you do, you can focus on making a personal injury claim to seek compensation.