A car accident can cause several problems for victims, and determining whether or not you have a serious injury can be difficult. However, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away if you exhibit any symptoms that point to a larger concern.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are commonly the result of a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, so car accident victims should be especially wary of symptoms that appear to be the sign of a TBI.
TBIs have a wide range of not just physical effects, but psychological ones as well. Some of the symptoms can appear immediately after an accident, while others may take days or weeks to manifest.
Mild TBI symptoms
A mild TBI comes with some of the following physical and sensory symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- A state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Sensory issues such as ringing in the ears, blurred vision, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in smell
Cognitive or mental symptoms of a mild TBI include memory or concentration problems, mood changes or mood swings, and feeling depressed or anxious.
Moderate to severe TBI symptoms
A moderate to severe TBI will share symptoms with a mild TBI, but will be more intense. For instance, consciousness may be lost for several minutes to hours, and the headaches and nausea are persistent.
Other symptoms include:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
- Profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Some or other consciousness disorders
Seek immediate treatment
Because TBIs can be such a serious injury and many of the symptoms look like they could be unrelated, it is important for car accident victims to seek medical care immediately after an accident and if any new symptoms arise in the days and weeks afterward.