How Soon Do Brain Injury Symptoms Appear?

The symptoms of a brain injury may appear right away, or they may take days or weeks to emerge. Depending on where an injury occurs and its extent, brain injuries, also called traumatic brain injury (TBI), can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.

Head and brain injuries can range from a simple bump, bruise, or contusion on the head to skull fractures and bleeding of the brain. Another type of injury is an anoxic brain injury. Anoxic brain damage takes place when the brain is deprived of oxygen. When this happens, the brain begins to die after four minutes.

Unfortunately, TBI cases are on the rise. Vehicle accidents, general violence, explosions, and contact sports can also cause brain injuries and TBIs. Roughly 153 people die every day in the United States from brain injuries that include a TBI and/or a concussion.

Symptoms of Brain Injury

Depending on the extent of the brain injury you have sustained, as well as the type of injury, symptoms can manifest themselves immediately or after a few days. Passing out and experiencing bleeding are two symptoms that generally occur as soon as a head injury occurs.

Serious head injuries (defined as moderate head injuries) can be identified by symptoms that include passing out, vomiting, and problems with memory. They can also cause problems with balance and long-term headaches.

Severe head injuries can result in the following symptoms:

  • Significant bleeding from the head
  • Passing out for a long tie and not waking up
  • Seizures
  • Experiencing problems with taste, smell, or vision
  • Experiencing difficulty staying awake or alert
  • Fluid (usually clear tissue fluid but sometimes blood) coming out of the ears or nose
  • A loss in the function of motor skills

Symptoms such as amnesia, being easily distracted, or being irritable can slowly develop over days or several weeks after a head injury occurs. Even a minor head injury (often called a mild head injury) can lead to symptoms like nausea, bleeding, and headaches.

Seeking Medical Assistance

If you or a loved one has suffered a moderate or serious head injury, you should seek immediate treatment by a doctor. When it comes to mild head injuries, you should see a doctor if your symptoms last more than two weeks.

Because of their nature, mild brain injuries may only affect your brain temporarily. More serious trauma can result in bruises, tissue damage, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. This can lead to long-term complications or even death.

Depending on the circumstances, as well as the visible symptoms, it is not too difficult to classify a head injury as mild, moderate, or severe. This can help you to look out for short-term and longer-term symptoms accordingly.

If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury or anoxic brain injury as the result of an accident and you were not at fault, consider calling an attorney. A lawyer may be able to get you the compensation you’ll need to move on with your life.

Image Credit: Brain Injury via ESB Professional/Shutterstock

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