A head injury is any type of injury to the skull, brain, or scalp. This injury can either be a mild bruise or bump. Or it can be a severe injury to the brain. There are lots of common forms of head injuries. Some of which include skull fractures, concussions, and wounds to the scalp. The consequences of these damages vary. The treatments for each wound differ as well.
What is a Head Injury?
When a professional examines a head injury, they first ask you the cause of the wound. This will enable the professional to uncover your symptoms and better treat your condition. Some of the wounds tend to open, while some do not.
A closed injury implies that there aren’t any cracks in the skull. Whereas an open head injury breaks the scalp, cracks your skull, and locates your brain. An open wound is mostly serious and needs immediate treatment. You can find more about injuries to the head here.
Causes of a Head Injury
Experts will tell us that head injuries are classified into two types. Firstly, it can be injuries that are a result of blows to the head. Secondly, it can be injuries as a result of shaking. The latter is most common in small children and infants. However, they can arise whenever you experience violent shaking.
On the other hand, head injuries caused by blows to the head are mostly a result of accidents. Below are a few examples:
- Vehicle accidents
- Accidents during sporting activities
Whenever accidents occur, in most cases, the skull protects the brain. It does this so as the brain wouldn’t encounter any serious damages. However, research has taught us that injuries to the spine can also result in brain defects. In this case, the skull can do nothing about it.
This is the main reason why spine injuries are always tended to quickly. Doctors know of the consequences and how they can affect the health of the brain.
Common Types of Head Injuries
Some of the common cases of cranial wounds are as a result of the conditions listed below. You may also want to dig deeper into more of the likely causes by doing your research on the subject.
A hemorrhage is simply uncontrolled bleeding. This bleeding can be located in the region around the brain. And this is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. There are also hemorrhages (uncontrolled bleeding) within your brain tissue. Professionals also term this intracerebral hemorrhage.
The subarachnoid hemorrhage often results in vomiting and headaches. In comparison, bleeding within the brain tissue depend solely on the severity of the bleeding. You can check here to learn more about managing hemorrhage.
A hematoma is simply a blood clot outside the blood vessels. This condition can be very severe if it occurs in the brain. If this were the case, the clotting could result in the buildup of pressure in the skull. This can, in turn, cause loss of consciousness. Or, in a worst-case scenario, it can cause permanent brain damage.
A concussion is a condition whereby the blow to the head is so severe that it causes brain injury. Experts say that this condition occurs when your brain hits hard against your skull. When a concussion occurs, it can lead to ringing in the ears, called tinnitus.
Nonetheless, the condition itself is temporary. Still, if consistent, it can become severe. For this reason, it is best to speak to a doctor when you experience a concussion. The doctor will ask you a few questions to determine the severity of the condition. Afterward, he will diagnose you and give you his/ her final finding.
4. Skull Fracture
Most bones in the body have bone marrow except the skull. This allows the skull to withstand blows because it is difficult to crack or break. However, when the skull breaks, the brain is left unprotected. And when you get blows to a fractured skull, you inevitably will get brain damage.
Skull fractures only occur when the accident to the cranium is fatal. In this case, a doctor needs to be with the individual immediately, which can be life-threatening.
Edema is a condition that is caused by a wound to the brain. When the skull is broken, swelling can occur. This can lead to pressure buildup in the brain. This causes the brain to press against the skull.
Symptoms of Head Injuries
Did you know that the head contains more blood vessels than any other body part? This is why bleeding on the brain surface is very severe. Nonetheless, not all wounds to the cranium lead to bleeding.
It helps a lot if you know the symptoms to look out for—there are many symptoms of skull wounds. However, lots of them wouldn’t just arise as soon as it happens. Constant monitoring of your body is essential. Do this to check for changes in your body. And once you notice changes, quickly contact your doctor.
Below are common symptoms of a head wound:
- Mild confusion
Whereas, if the case is severe, you begin to experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of control
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty focusing the eye in a particular region
- Abnormal eye movement
- Difficulty controlling the muscles
- Continuous and persistent headaches
- Mood change
- Fluids dripping from the ear
It is essential that when the wound is severe, that you seek professional help. It could be that you need to check in for tinnitus treatment after a head injury and, as such, should ensure that your partner, friend, or neighbor takes you to a doctor. The professional will quickly diagnose your condition and immediately administer treatment.
When should I Go to a Clinic when I have a Head Injury?
Wound to the cranium should never be taken lightly. As previously noted, you must visit a clinic. Ensure that you see a doctor and explain your symptoms to him or her. Most times, the doctor will better examine if your case is severe or not. You just have to be accurate when discussing your symptoms with the health care provider.
You should either call your emergency service or 911 to render you help. You can also seek help from a friend, neighbor, or partner. Tell them to take you to an emergency room to receive treatment.
If you have a severe blow to the cranium, you move carefully to the emergency center. So, in this case, you would require your local emergency service. They are trained professionals and would be able to move you carefully without causing more damages to your skull.
How Do You Get Treatment for Head Injury?
Treatments for a wound to the cranium depend on the severity of the impairment. When the injuries are minor, you do not experience any symptoms. You might only experience pain when the wound occurs. When this is the case, a doctor will simply give you pain relievers. This will enable the pain to subside and ensure you feel better.
However, if your wound is minor, but opened, then use sutures to close it up. Afterward, use a bandage to cover the wound from infection. Make sure you do not take anti-inflammatory drugs when your injury opens. These drugs do make bleeding worse. Talk to your doctor for better drug options for your condition. Make sure to observe your state for a while to notice changes.
If there aren’t, then you are alright. But, if changes occur and it gets worse, revisit your doctor for a different treatment option. On the other hand, if your injury is serious, you might need hospitalization. Below are treatments for a severe head wound:
If you have encountered a brain injury, a doctor will prescribe anti-seizure medications to you. This is because, with brain wounds, you are at risk of seizures. Whereas if the damage has led to pressure buildup, you might be given diuretics.
This is because diuretics allow you to excrete more fluids. This will, in turn, ensure that some of the pressure is relieved. Medications allow you to relieve any symptoms you are feeling.
Surgery is carried out to ensure there are no further damages to your brain. For example, your doctor might see the need to operate on you for the following reasons:
- Repair your damaged skull
- Take out a hematoma
- Release pressure buildup in your skull
Rehabilitation is only done when a patient has suffered from serious brain damage. Rehab is a program that will enable the patient to regain his or her brain’s total control. The rehabilitation that the patient gets will vary. Though, it will depend mainly on the functions they have lost as a result of the wound. This link has more about rehabilitation after an injury.
Head wounds should never be taken lightly. You must see a doctor regardless of the severity of the wound. A doctor will assess your condition and provide the necessary treatment. The symptoms of wounds to the cranium vary.
A mild injury usually does not leave lasting consequences. Whereas if the injury is severe, it can cause lasting effects. Individuals with serious skull wounds can experience changes in their personalities. They can get physically disabled.
So, you must seek a reliable and qualified doctor to treat your skull wounds. This is so as you do not get any lasting damage that can hamper your quality of life.