Minor brain injuries can be more serious than you think

There are two basic kinds of brain injuries: a sports concussion and an epidural hematoma. Sports concussions are usually mild. They temporarily change the way the brain functions, and sometimes their effects don't show up immediately because the brain swelling that causes the effects happens slowly.

Epidural hematomas, on the other hand, are usually traumatic. They are a result of blood gathering between the skull and the membrane that surrounds the brain. Their effects are more pronounced and harder to miss than those presented by the milder sports concussion.

The symptoms of a brain injury are many and varied, but they often fall into the following categories:

  • Physical changes, such as a period of unconsciousness, dizziness, a headache, feeling sick to your stomach, slurred speech, convulsions or seizures, and dilated pupils among others;
  • Mental changes, such as a period of being confused or disoriented and having problems remembering things;
  • Emotional changes, such as mood swings, unusually aggressive behavior, and feelings of depression or anxiety; and
  • Sleep changes, such as unusual levels of fatigue, unexplainable drowsiness, difficulty sleeping or difficulty waking up.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if that bump on the head you've just experienced resulted in a brain injury or not, especially if the injury is a mild one. But over time, experiencing several injuries to the brain, even mild ones, can result in physical, mental, and emotional impairments. Because of that, you should always consider consulting your doctor whenever you think you might have experienced one -- even a mild one. And if the injury was due to an accident, it might be prudent to contact a personal injury attorney as well.

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