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Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury happens when the head violently hits an object — as in a fall or a car crash — or when something like a bullet punctures the skull and goes into the brain. Concussion is considered the mildest type of traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, which vary depending on the extent and location of the brain damage, include the following:

  • Headache or neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Behavior and mood changes

Traumatic brain injury: what you should know

  • If you notice any of these danger signs after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body, go to the emergency room or call your doctor immediately.
  • You don’t have to be going fast, fall far or hit your head hard to suffer lasting brain damage. Even seemingly mild head injuries, where you do not lose consciousness, can cause brain injury.
  • Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce your risk of a serious brain injury and death. During a fall or collision, most of the impact energy is absorbed by the helmet, rather than your head and brain.

How can I get help for traumatic brain injury?

Go to the emergency room or call your primary care doctor immediately if you notice any of these danger signs after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body.

Some traumatic brain injury symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury. If you start to notice symptoms at any time, call your doctor right away.