Every year in the United States, around 1.7 million people suffer from brain injuries after hitting their head. Not all head injuries are life-threatening, but even an apparently mild knock to the head could require the expert care of Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD, at Neurology Consulting, Inc. At his offices in Tarzana and Thousand Oaks, California, Dr. Andersson can assess the extent of your head injury and deliver rehabilitative treatments for moderate to severe brain injuries. Call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today to schedule a consultation or use the online form to book your appointment.
Head injuries occur when you receive a blow to your head, or your head moves violently enough to injure your brain. Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are either closed, which means your skull stays in one piece, or penetrating, where something damages your skull and the brain inside.
Falls are the leading cause of head injuries, either from trips and slips, sports injuries, or falling from a height. Accidentally hitting your head is another common cause, closely followed by auto accidents. Assaults account for about 10% of traumatic brain injuries.
The most widespread form of head injury is a concussion. It's also the mildest form of head injury. Some head injuries can be potentially life-threatening, even if there's no apparent skull damage.
A mild head injury like concussion typically causes symptoms such as:
You might lose consciousness for a couple of seconds or maybe minutes. Symptoms can last for a couple of days or several weeks.
If you have a moderate or severe head injury, you’re likely to experience additional symptoms. Your headache might be severe or get worse instead of better. You might feel nauseated and vomit, sometimes repeatedly. You could also have dilated pupils, slurred speech, numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, loss of coordination, increased confusion, find it hard to wake up, and become restless and agitated.
At Neurology Consulting, Inc., Dr. Andersson assesses head injuries using a test called the Glasgow Coma Scale. You might also need to undergo X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan to check for signs of trauma.
If you or someone you're with suffers a penetrating head injury or loses consciousness after hitting their head, you should call 911 for emergency assistance. Swelling or bleeding in the brain can be fatal, so it's never wise to brush off head injuries.
At the other end of the scale, if you have a mild concussion, rest is usually the only treatment you need. Dr. Andersson advises you to take it easy, watch for any symptoms worsening or new symptoms developing, and stay in contact with him, attending follow-up appointments as needed.
Moderate to severe head injuries typically require a process of rehabilitation. Many aspects of your physical and mental functioning can change when you have a head injury, requiring a program of specialized treatments.
Dr. Andersson prepares an individual care plan for you that’s likely to contain both physical and occupational therapies and treatments to help with your cognitive (thinking) skills. If you're having problems talking, you might also benefit from speech and language therapy.
For more information about head injuries and dealing with a concussion, call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today or book an appointment online.