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What are different types of head injuries?

Even seemingly minor head injuries can have lasting consequences. In general, the type of head injury a person sustains plays a role in how serious the damage is, and how long it will take to recover. This guide explains a few of the most common head injuries, which can result from car accidents, slips and falls, and many other occurrences. 


Concussions are a common head injury that typically only result in minor, temporary effects. However, repeated concussions are thought to cause a host of serious issues, both mental and physical. Concussions occur when the brain hits against the interior of the skull with force. 


Hemorrhage refers to bleeding that is unable to be controlled. There are two types of hemorrhages that can affect the brain: 

  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage – The subarachnoid space is the area between the brains and the tissue that covers it. A person with this type of brain hemorrhage may experience intense headaches and vomiting.  
  •  Intracerebral hemorrhage - This type of hemorrhage takes place within your brain. Along with headaches and vomiting, other symptoms include problems speaking, weakness in certain areas of the body, increased blood pressure, and diminishing consciousness.  


Edema is another name for swelling. Brain swells after an injury must be taken seriously, as major complications may result. Even relatively minor brain swelling can be dangerous since the skull is unable to expand to accommodate the swelling, which causes pressure to build. 

Diffuse axonal injury 

Also known as a sheer injury, a diffuse axonal injury occurs when there is damage to the brain cells without bleeding. These types of injuries occur when the brain rapidly accelerates or decelerates, which causes tissues to tear. This damage can disrupt brain function permanently and even lead to serious swelling.