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Types of Head Injuries

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

A head injury can threaten the full functioning of the brain, body, and even life. In some patients, the head injury may be mild. It also may not interfere with their livelihoods. However, a head injury can result in significant health problems and even be life-threatening. Therefore, a patient who has received a blow in the head area needs to receive an examination by a doctor urgently. The sooner the doctor can examine the patient, the higher the chances of a quick recovery.

 

We can notice several types of a head injury, such as:

  • Hematoma;
  • Concussion;
  • Skull fracture.

The severity of symptoms and the recovery speed will depend on the type of injury the patient received. Sometimes, these conditions persist over the years, resulting in complex problems with memory or be a cause of a coma. As a rule, the main treatment methods are providing urgent care, examination, and ensuring proper rest for the patient.

In this article, we will take a close look at all types of head injuries and discuss their features.

 

1. Hematoma

It is a blood clot that appears outside the blood vessels. Such a problem can be a reason for the pressure on the brain. It leads to the overall pressure inside the skull.

Due to the appearance of a hematoma, a person can lose consciousness and even receive irreversible brain damage. When we talk about hematomas, we must emphasize that there are different types. Now, we’ll discuss it in more detail.

 

Type of hematoma Description
Epidural  It occurs when a blood clot appears between the skull and the dura mater. Quite often, it is combined with skull fractures.
Subdural  This condition occurs due to the fact that a blood clot appears under the skull and dura mater.
Intracerebral  This type of hematoma is also called a bruise. Such a diagnosis is made if the brain is bruised and bleeds at the site of the bruise.

2. Concussion

When a person receives a head injury, he suspects he has a concussion. However, it is worth knowing in more detail what this condition means.

A concussion is a head injury that can cause a person to lose consciousness or alertness temporarily. As a rule, this time varies from several minutes to hours after a person has been injured. A concussion can be obtained not only due to a blow to the head. It can also be a blow to the body, due to which the brain is shaken sharply and violently.

Most often, the main symptom that accompanies a concussion is a headache. The speed of recovery depends on the severity of the concussion. However, as a rule, improvements occur after 14-21 days. Generally, a concussion is not life-threatening. However, it can cause more serious health problems. Also, the recovery process can be long and painful.

 

3. Skull Fracture

A skull fracture is a fracture of the bones of the human skull. We need to notice that there are four main types of skull fractures. Let’s take a closer look at them.

 

Types of skull fracture Description
Linear skull fractures This type of skull fracture occurs most frequently. With it, the bone breaks but does not move. Patients with this type of traumatic brain injury may spend a small amount of time in the hospital. As a rule, the patient can return to normal life a few days after this type of injury. With such a head injury, third-party interventions are often not required.
Depressed skull fractures Sometimes, such a head injury can appear with an incision on the scalp. However, it can be without a cut.

If a person has this type of skull fracture, one of its parts is pressed in after the impact. In this case, the patient may need surgery to return the skull to its original shape.

Diastatic fractures of the skull Each person has sutures between the bones of the head. This type of head injury consists of a fracture that runs along the line of the skull’s sutures. Most often, children and young people experience such trauma.
Fracture of the base of the skull This type of skull fracture is the most dangerous. Due to this head injury, patients may have bruises around the eyes and ears. Also, the discharge of a clear liquid from the nose or ears is not excluded. Patients with a similar skull fracture need a thorough examination and constant monitoring by a doctor. Each person has sutures between the bones of the head. This type of head injury consists of a fracture that runs along the line of the skull’s sutures. Most often, children and young people experience such trauma.

 

Now, we want to move on to the signs of a head injury. It is essential to know and distinguish them by severity. It will help assess the patient’s condition and save him from possible serious consequences.

 

Symptoms and Causes of Head Injuries

At this stage, it is worth talking about the symptoms of head trauma. Certain signs can confirm the presence of a head injury. The severity of these symptoms depends on the severity of the injury. In addition, it should be borne in mind that each patient may have individual symptoms and consequences. However, we can still highlight the main symptoms of a head injury. 

woman has a headache

Minor Head Injury

Signs of a mild head injury include:

  • Swollen impact site;
  • Small cut on the scalp at the site of impact;
  • Headache;
  • Sensitivity to noise and light;
  • Irritability;
  • Confusion of consciousness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Loss of balance;
  • Nausea or even vomiting;
  • Memory loss;
  • Concentration problems;
  • Changing sleep patterns;
  • Impaired vision;
  • Tinnitus;
  • Taste change;
  • Fatigue;
  • Lethargy.

 

Moderate or Severe Head Injury

If a person is moderately or severely injured, seek immediate medical attention. Here are some signs of severe head injury:

  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Severe headache that doesn’t go away;
  • Recurrent nausea and vomiting;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Difficulties with walking;
  • Weakness in one side or area of ​​the body;
  • Sweating;
  • Pale skin color;
  • Seizures;
  • Changes in behavior;
  • Irritability;
  • Memory loss;
  • Deep cut on the scalp at the site of injury;
  • Open wound in the head;
  • Finding a foreign object in the head.

In addition to these signs of head injury, a person may fall into a coma or get into a vegetative state in severe cases. A vegetative state is a state of brain damage in which it is difficult for a person to think normally and be aware of the environment. However, such essential functions of life and activity as respiration and blood circulation are simultaneously observed.

Another consequence of a head injury can be the condition of a locked person. It is a neurological condition during which a person manages to think and reason but is unable to move or speak.

 

Causes of Head Injuries

There can be many causes for such a problem. Most often, it happens due to the following reasons:

  • Car crashes;
  • Hitting a person on the road with a car;
  • Violence;
  • Falls from a height;
  • Bruises received during sports or extreme activities;
  • Assault in families.

Subdural hematomas and cerebral hemorrhages, in some cases, may appear spontaneously.

 

How to Treat Head Injuries

In fact, the treatment depends on several vital factors. So, what exactly will be the treatment, in any case, is influenced by factors such as:

  • Age;
  • General health;
  • Disease history;
  • Type of head injury;
  • Severity of this problem;
  • Tolerance of certain drugs.

woman with head injury with doctor

So, depending on the above factors, the treatment options for a head injury may be:

  • Ice application;
  • Complete rest;
  • Application of antibiotic ointment;
  • Applying a band-aid at the site of injury;
  • Monitoring the patient’s condition;
  • Providing immediate medical assistance;
  • Suturing;
  • Appointment of hospitalization and examinations;
  • Help with breathing;
  • Connecting a person to a breathing apparatus;
  • Carrying out the operation.

The recommendations that a doctor can give a patient with such a problem are selected individually for each case. So, for example, a patient may be given urgent medical care and hospitalization for monitoring of the condition. While in another case, it may be sticking a band-aid to the injury site, measuring blood pressure, and a simple examination without needing hospitalization.

 

Bottom Line 

Thus, we have reviewed the main head injury types, their causes, and their symptoms. We also looked at the most popular and typical treatments for this condition. The situation can be hazardous. Therefore, you or your close person needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. If the injury is moderate or severe, you should call an ambulance.

The highly qualified specialists of our neurological clinic Lone Star Neurology daily help many patients, including those with head injuries, undergo a quality examination and receive essential recommendations. With the use of modern equipment, we help prevent serious diseases and cope with current neurological problems. Timely contact with a neurologist will help you prevent health and life-threatening consequences.

 

FAQs 

  • What is the most common type of head injury?

The most common head injury is a concussion. It is a type of traumatic brain injury characterized by a strong enough concussion that it is enough for the brain to bounce off the skull. A concussion can be either mild or severe.

  • Which head injury is serious?

The most dangerous form of brain injury is diffuse damage to axons. This condition can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

  • How long after a head injury can symptoms occur?

The speed of recovery after receiving a traumatic brain injury depends on its type, the age of the patient, and the severity of the condition. In some cases, the patient may feel well within a day. However, in some situations, symptoms may persist for up to three weeks.

  • How do you test after hitting your head?

After receiving a traumatic brain injury, it is necessary to undergo a computed tomography examination. It is a standard method for diagnosing the state of the brain, including after an injury.

  • Should I go to a hospital if I hit my head?

In the event of a traumatic brain injury, urgent medical attention should be sought. It is essential to do this if, during a traumatic brain injury, a person has lost consciousness and has confusion or vomiting.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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