Hurting your brain is one of the worst possible outcomes of a car crash. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could drastically affect your health, independent living ability and quality of life. Sometimes, those with a brain injury develop increasingly severe symptoms because they don’t get a diagnosis quickly enough.
Ignoring the warning signs of a brain injury might mean that the symptoms increase. Getting medical care quickly can make a big difference for someone with a TBI. To make sure that you and your loved ones don’t accidentally contribute to a brain injury by ignoring it, you have to learn how to identify the signs of a TBI.
Monitoring yourself for warning signs of a brain injury isn’t that easy. TBIs can cause dozens of different symptoms. Most people know that serious headaches, dizziness, nausea or balance issues after a fall or a car crash are warning signs of a brain injury. They might overlook the three signs below that could also indicate damage to or bleeding on the brain.
- Otherwise unexplainable changes in sleep habits
Sleep allows your brain and your body a chance to rest after a long day of activities. Damage to certain parts of the brain can disrupt your sleep schedule, make it harder for you to fall asleep or make you feel like you need to sleep all the time. Changes in when and how you sleep, as well as changes in how you fall asleep, could be warning signs of a TBI.
- Issues with vision, hearing or even smell
Sensory issues are somewhat common but still frequently ignored symptoms of brain injuries. Some people with a TBI will experience decreased or blurry vision or develop sensitivity to bright lights. Others might experience tinnitus, the medical term for ringing in the ears. It’s also possible to notice changes in how things smell or taste.
- Suddenly changing in mood or personality
An injury to the brain can alter how people perceive the world and how they interact with it. Someone’s behavior, speech patterns or even their relationships can start to change after a brain injury. While emotional instability can also be a side effect of a traumatic experience, those who note significant changes in emotional responses or overall behavior in themselves or a loved one after a crash may need to ask a doctor if the issue warrants medical testing.
Other brain injury symptoms that you might ignore at first could include feelings of anxiety or depression, numbness in toes or fingers or problems focusing.
Seeing a doctor to rule out a brain injury after a car crash or a fall is typically a good decision. It could mean getting a faster diagnosis and care that might prevent the injury and the symptoms it creates from getting worse.