As current and former professional athletes turn up the heat on their former employers for brain injuries suffered during their playing careers, ordinary people struggle through head injuries, oftentimes without even realizing it. There are many reasons to fear a car accident, slip and fall, or other injury scenario, but the possibility of suffering a head injury should be at the top of the list. Studies have shown that even a single concussion can lead to lifelong mental impairment. Whether you were involved in a bike accident, or you took a spill on a slippery floor, even one blow to the head can cause fatigue, mood swings, headaches, memory loss and feelings of “fogginess.”
Concussions are a difficult injury for doctor’s to diagnose. Many victims do not connect their ongoing symptoms with a head trauma that they may have deemed minor. Non-athletes will rarely seek medical attention unless they are struck so hard they lose consciousness. By the time they realize that their fall or collision has left them unable to work or function normally, it may be too late to address the situation properly.
What is most important to remember is that there is no such thing as a mild brain injury. As the science develops, it has become clear that any injury to the brain has the potential to change your life. Even if you feel fine a week after an injury, proteins can be building up in your brain in a way that will eventually cause you to suffer symptoms. After an injury, it is vital to seek medical attention and do the one thing that experts agree can help: avoid unnecessary mental and physical activity. Resting the brain can improve your chances of making a full recovery.
When a driver runs into you while texting or drinking coffee, or a wet surface causes you to slip and fall, you may consider taking legal action. Injuries such as broken bones and lacerations let everyone know that you have suffered harm. In the case of head trauma, you may need to wait weeks or months to know the extent of your injury. Pay attention to symptoms and document what you are feeling to create a clear picture of the impact of your brain injury.
Source: Men’s Health, “A Smack Upside the Head,” by Laura Beil, 25 January 2012