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Brain injury symptoms may not appear right away

You get in a car accident in rush hour traffic on the way home from work in Englewood. Another driver tries to merge in even though there is no space. They hit the side of your car and push you into the oncoming traffic lanes. There's nothing you can do to avoid a second collision with another car.

In the accident, your head strikes the side window. No one is riding with you in the car, so you don't know if you really lose consciousness or not. It does feel like everything goes dark for a moment and the world spins, but, the next thing you know, you're getting out of the car to survey the damage and talk to the other drivers.

Do you have a brain injury?

Physically, you feel all right. Your head hurts, but you don't have broken bones or bleeding lacerations. It seems like you won't need to go to the hospital, and you count yourself as lucky.

But do you have a brain injury? You could. One of the most complicated parts of a brain injury, like a concussion, is that symptoms do not always appear immediately. They could get delayed for hours or even days. You may feel pretty good after that crash, but that does not mean you're actually fine.

Potential symptoms

So, what should you look out for in the future? Potential symptoms may include things like:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble keeping your balance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Agitation
  • Sensitivity to lights and sounds

These are just a few examples, and headaches may be the most common. But the reality is that you could have many other symptoms as well, depending on the type of brain injury and the severity. If you feel injured, even after the fact, do not ignore it. Remember that it could all relate back to your accident.

Get medical treatment

These delayed symptoms, or symptoms that get masked by adrenaline in the heat of the moment, are the reason that you want to get medical help, no matter how you feel. At least have a doctor check you out and make sure you are all right. Do not take any chances with your health. Going to a hospital gives you medical records that relate to the crash. Even if nothing is wrong, at least you can have a professional tell you so.

Whether you need treatment right after the crash or when the symptoms of the brain injury show up later, make sure you know exactly what steps you need to take. It's important to understand this entire process and how to keep yourself healthy.

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