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- National Library of Medicine
- Mayo Clinic's First Aid for Head Trauma
- University of Maryland Medical Center
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Signs & Symptoms of Head Injury After a Fall
Head injuries and trauma can be scary. Since the brain is located inside the skull, this is a sensitive area of the body which controls everything from motor functions, cognitive skills and much more. That is why it is so critical to recognize any signs and symptoms of a head injury after a fall so you can get medical attention right away. If you wait too long, the damage could get worse and the results could be fatal.
One of the most common symptoms of a head injury after a fall is a headache. A slight headache does not necessarily mean something is wrong, but if the headache gets gradually worse, or if it starts out as very painful, it could be a sign of a serious injury. People have died because they did not seek medical attention immediately after a fall because they thought their headache was not severe enough to be a sign of something more serious.
If the fall was traumatic, there is a chance that the person has suffered a skull fracture. There are several signs that a skull fracture has occurred, including bruising around the eyes and bleeding from the nose or ear canals. A medical professional can evaluate the nerves that control the eye movements, facial muscles, hearing, sight, swallowing and other functions to help determine if there has been a skull fracture.
Nausea and Vomiting
Following a bump on the head, feeling nauseated is often the sign of a serious injury. In some cases, nausea may be associated with a concussion. If the nausea gets worse over time or turns into vomiting, the head injury could be something serious.
With many head injuries, the person will not remember what happened just before, during and immediately after the event. In many cases, the person will never remember those events, even after receiving treatment for the injury. However, if the injury is not severe, the person will almost always recover their ability to remember and learn new things. Even in cases of amnesia, the person's memory typically returns after a period of time.
Dizziness could be a symptom of many types of head injuries, including concussions, so you should seek medical attention any time you experience dizziness following a bump on the head.
If a person is unconscious following a fall, the head injury is probably very serious. Seek medical attention immediately.
Seizures are typically associated with a head injury in which something has gone into the brain. Common causes of seizures following a head injury include a skull fragment breaking off and going into the brain or falling on something that pokes through the skull and enters the brain. When something like this happens, the person may suffer from seizures for the rest of his life.
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