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Symptoms of Brain Injury After Hitting Head

Medically reviewed by Nicole Aliling, MD · Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Feb 22, 2021

Symptoms of Brain Injury After Hitting Head

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the serious public health concerns. It results from a serious blow to the head, such as getting hit by a hard object or hitting your head on a tough surface. Nevertheless, not all blows to the head result in TBI. Learn the other symptoms of brain injury after hitting your head. 

Types of TBI

 A traumatic brain injury could either be mild or severe. Mild injuries are characterized by a brief change of mental status and consciousness. Meanwhile, severe cases are when the loss of consciousness happens for an extended period of time and may include amnesia after the injury.

The severity of the injury may depend on how hard your head has been hit as well as the damage caused to your brain tissues.

symptoms of brain injury after hitting head

Symptoms of Brain Injury After Hitting the Head

A brain injury could have a wide variety of symptoms and psychological effects on people. Some of these symptoms typically appear after the accident. However, some of these signs would appear gradually over days and even weeks. Additionally, the symptoms would depend on the severity of the case.

Symptoms of Mild TBI

Here are symptoms of brain injury after hitting the/your head for mild cases:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for a brief moment
  • No loss of consciousness, but the feeling of confusion
  • Being dazed and disoriented
  • Problems with speech
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Excessive sleeping 
  • Fatigue and/or drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance

There are also sensory and cognitive as well as mental symptoms involved with mild TBI, such as the following:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Mood changes and/or mood swings
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • The feeling of depression and anxiety

Symptoms of Moderate to Severe TBI

When it comes to moderate to severe brain cases, the symptoms persist days or weeks after the accident. However, some signs also occur as soon as the accident happens.

Here are the symptoms associated with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries:

  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Loss of body coordination
  • Losing consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Dilation of one or both eye pupils
  • Inability or difficulty to awaken from sleep
  • Persistent headaches and headaches that worsen
  • Frequent vomiting and nausea
  • Clear fluids draining from the ears or nose
  • Numbness and weakness in toes and fingers

As with mild cases, severe TBI cases also have cognitive and/or mental symptoms, including the following:

  • Profound confusion
  • Unclear or impeded speech
  • Consciousness disorders or coma
  • Unusual behaviors including agitation and combativeness

TBI Symptoms in Children

Children and even infants may also experience a traumatic brain injury, but it is difficult for them to communicate and say what they are feeling. Nevertheless, you can observe some changes, including the following:

  • Seizures
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Easy irritability
  • Uncommon nursing habits or eating
  • Sad and depressed mood
  • Lack of focus
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to be consoled and persistent crying
  • Loss of interest in activities and their toys

If your child has bumped his or her head, it is best to check their behavior and call a pediatrician as soon as possible.

What to Do When Your Toddler Hits Their Head

TBI Complications

Traumatic brain injuries could cause several complications that could happen after the accident or in the coming days. Severe cases have a higher chance of getting more severe complications.

Among the most significant complications in moderate to severe cases be the person having prolonged and permanent changes with their responsiveness, consciousness, and awareness. Different states may include:

  • Coma – Wherein a person is unconscious and cannot respond to any stimulus.
  • Vegetative state – Wherein a person is unaware of his/her surroundings but can only open eyes, respond reflexively, make sounds, and more.
  • Brain death – Wherein a person has no measurable brain activity and is often considered as an irreversible state.

How to Prevent TBI

A traumatic brain injury can only be prevented by ensuring that the head is always protected. It is also essential to prevent accidents as much as possible. You must also be mindful of your surroundings all the time and make your home accident-proof.

For example, adding handrails on stairs and ramps can help people maintain their balance and lessen the risks of falling and hitting their head on the floor. You can also add nonslip mats in bathrooms and showers as the floor is constantly slippery and wet. As much as possible, you should also keep the lights inside and around your home bright enough for better sight. You should also remove any toys or wires on the floors to avoid tripping.

When you are driving, ensure that you have your seatbelts on as it can save you in case of accidents. If you are driving a motorcycle or bicycle, you should always wear a helmet to protect your head. If you have children with you, always secure them in their seats and with their own helmets.

Most importantly, avoid alcohol and drug use, especially if you are driving. This includes any medications you might be taking at the moment.

If you have maintenance medications that make you sleepy or groggy, communicate this with your doctor so they can find a suitable schedule that will allow you to avoid accidents when operating your vehicle.

Key Takeaways

Blunt trauma to the head may cause brain damage. This can be avoided easily by protecting the head and always being mindful of your surroundings. However, when you get into an accident and experience symptoms of brain injury after hitting your head, you should call emergency services and get immediate treatment.

Learn more about the Brain and Nervous System here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Nicole Aliling, MD

Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Feb 22, 2021

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