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What is the Connection Between Head Trauma and Brain Injury?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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The primary connection between head trauma and brain injury is that trauma to the head is the main cause of brain injury. Trauma can include any blunt force coming in contact with the head. Some of the most common ways this occurs is through automobile accidents and falls. Brain injury can occur in some individuals, although the extent of injury will depend on how much force was exerted.

Sometimes head trauma and brain injury are obvious, as in a serious automobile accident. Other times a minor fall can cause slight injury to the brain, as in the case of a concussion, but individuals may not be able to accurately assess the severity of such an injury. Even if trauma to the head does not cause severe swelling, bleeding, or loss of consciousness, special attention should be paid to the injured individual for several hours after even a minor blow to the head. Dizziness, tiredness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and lack of coordination are all signs that an injury may require treatment.

More severe head trauma and brain injury can lead to permanent brain damage, severe bleeding, long-term memory loss, and even death. This is generally caused by very traumatic blunt force. Sometimes areas of the brain may be repaired, but this depends on how severe the damage is.

Patients with head trauma and brain injury may experience various long-term problems. The specific issues which may occur will depend on the area of the brain which was damaged. Some individuals may lose short or long term memory, have physical disabilities, or mental retardation. Sometimes skills can be relearned over time through counseling and physical therapy, although this will depend on the scale of the damage.

Medical care should be sought immediately by anyone who suspects a brain injury. Symptoms can sometimes be mild to moderate, so any unusual feelings should be checked out to ensure no serious damage was done. Any injury, whether it seems serious or not, should be checked if the person loses consciousness for any length of time. Even a few seconds could indicate damage to the brain.

Head trauma and brain injury can often be prevented in many situations. Seat belts should be worn while riding in an automobile. Helmets should be worn when riding on a bicycle, motorcycle, or when playing high impact sports. It is important to make sure that the helmet is designed for the activity being participated in. For instance, a bicycle helmet is not suitable for those riding a motorcycle.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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