When you don’t spot any broken bones and can easily move all your limbs after a crash, you might assume you escaped major injury. That is a common attitude for those recovering from significant collisions, and it is also a dangerous belief to have.
Not every severe injury is obvious right after it occurs. Especially in the trauma scenario, like a motor vehicle collision, the flood of chemicals and hormones in response to the crash could mask your sense of pain and hide symptoms. More worryingly, as certain, often invisible, injuries get worse, they can develop increasingly severe symptoms.
Even if everyone in your vehicle seems fine after a crash, it’s important that you watch for signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in yourself and the other passengers of your vehicle for at least a week.
What kind of symptoms do TBIs cause?
Your brain processes every scrap of sensory information that your body receives. It controls your heart rate and breathing, as well as also your motor function. Everything that defines who you are and what you do comes from your brain.
Given the complex role of your central nervous system, it likely won’t surprise you to learn that brain injuries can produce a broad range of symptoms. Some people report dizziness or difficulty with balance, while others experience nausea, vomiting or worsening headache.
Sensory symptoms are also common, ranging from blurry vision to ringing in the ears. Some people will experience a change in their overall personality or mood, and others experience changes in their sleep habits or issues with motor function or weakness. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of a brain injury can help you take action more quickly when they develop in you or a loved one after a crash.
Prompt diagnosis is important
Left untreated, a TBI can steadily get worse as bleeding or swelling of the brain continues for days after the crash. In some cases, people go from having minor symptoms to overwhelming symptoms or from no signs of an injury to multiple concerning symptoms in a few days.
The longer someone with a TBI goes without medical care, the worse their symptoms will become and the more likely they are to suffer permanent damage. Getting prompt medical attention and treatment after a car crash can minimize the impact of a brain injury on the rest of your life.