Hitting your head, when is it serious? Brain injuries are often overlooked



Most people don’t think bumping your head on the cabinet door or standing up too fast under the table is anything to worry about. Traumatic brain injuries (or TBIs) sound like something a boxer would get, or someone coming out of a severe car crash. It doesn’t always take much, however, and even a small bump can lead to serious or even deadly results if untreated. It is more important to pay attention to the “red flag” symptoms, and if you experience any after a head injury, seek medical attention immediately

TBIs fall onto a spectrum from mild to severe. Mild brain injuries tend to heal on their own. A brain scan won’t show any bruising, bleeding or swelling. Moderate to severe injuries will show bleeding, contusions, swelling, and hemorrhages and usually require medical care. The most common moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries in the United States are from slip and falls.

Even moderate to severe TBIs can appear like the damage is mild, which is why it is so important to pay attention to the symptoms.


If any of the following show up, seek medical attention immediately

  • Loss of consciousness for any amount of time
  • A severe headache
  • One pupil that’s larger than another
  • Dizziness
  • Any type of weakness or decreased coordination
  • Speech problems
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Seizure (shaking or twitching) for any duration
  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting

Remember, if you are alone, always tell someone and/or call your doctor and let them know what happened. Brain injuries are one of the most common injuries that get overlooked because patients don’t think it is as serious as it is. Don’t think twice when it comes to your brain.


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