Yes. While headaches are often the most common symptom of brain injury, trauma to the head and neck can cause damage throughout the brain and nervous system. For example, if you were struck at the intersection of Front Street and I-435, and hit the left side of your head, you may have trouble moving the arm and leg on the right side of your body. This "cross-over effect" is a result of brain damage on the opposite side of the brain.
Other common symptoms of traumatic brain injury that crash victims should look out for include:
- Loss of consciousness.
- Prolonged pupil dilation or unequal pupil size.
- Vision problems, such as blurry vision, seeing double, sensitivity to bright light, or sudden blindness.
- Dizziness or loss of balance.
- Difficulty hearing or a noticeable ringing in the ears.
- Trouble breathing (especially with increased blood pressure).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Fatigue (especially an inability to wake up and stay awake easily).
- Body weakness, numbness, coordination problems, or paralysis.
- Confusion or difficulty thinking (includes memory problems, lost attention span, or affected processing speed).
- Emotional outbursts or inappropriate responses (such as sudden crying or laughing).
- Mood changes (such as irritability, frustration, or sudden risk-taking).
- Slurred speech or other difficulty with speaking.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Clear liquid (spinal fluid) running from the ears or nose.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control.
Traumatic brain injury can have a wide range of symptoms, so it is important that you seek medical attention after any trauma to the head. Even if you feel fine after the crash, you may have suffered a significant injury than can only be seen with an imaging scan. If caught early, you may be able to avoid a stroke or potential brain damage. For more information on common brain injury problems, read through our free e-book, Brain Injury Survivor's Guide.