Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Can Hitting Your Head Cause Seizures: What You Need to Know

Can Hitting Your Head Cause Seizures

If you’ve experienced a seizure after a traumatic head injury, call Medical Clinics of New York City at 1-877-465-7360. Same-day appointments may be available.

Can hitting your head cause seizures? This question might simmer in the back of your mind after you or a loved one experience a traumatic head injury. Seizures are unpredictable and present a source of fear for many people.

How can you treat them? What can you do to prevent them? A reputable neurologist in New York can answer these and many other questions. 

Can Hitting Your Head Cause Seizures?

In short, yes, hitting your head may cause seizures. However, the impact must be severe enough to cause an injury.

If you accidentally hit your head on a shelf, you probably didn’t sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI). Just use ice to ease the swelling.

A TBI occurs when the impact has enough strength to bruise your brain tissues or fracture your skull. Since the impact can affect the way your brain functions, it can result in electrical activity that spawns a seizure. If you experience a seizure, you can take steps to prevent it from occurring again. 

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that 223,135 hospitalizations occurred from TBIs in 2019. Head injuries come in various forms, including:

  • Fractured skull
  • Bruised brain tissue
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Concussions

Some symptoms that follow these injuries include headaches, loss of consciousness, disrupted sleep patterns, and changes in mood or personality.

After sustaining a TBI, you should seek medical attention immediately. This minimizes any life-threatening damage or risks of seizures. It can also improve your recovery time.

What Is a Seizure?

Can hitting your head cause seizures? Yes, since abnormal electrical activity causes seizures to occur.

Focal seizures begin in just one area before spreading across the brain. A generalized seizure causes electrical disturbances in both halves of the brain. Generalized seizures may begin as focalized seizures before spreading. 

Causes of Seizures after TBI

Sometimes, a TBI leaves your brain with scars, blood, or skull fragments in its tissue. These objects can trigger abnormal electrical activity that causes seizures. Other times, the injury makes your brain swell and interrupts normal functions.

Since TBIs generally disrupt your brain’s activities, you can understand why you might experience unpleasant symptoms. But seizures feel especially jarring.

Seizure Symptoms

You could experience numerous symptoms leading to a seizure. More severe symptoms may leave you unconscious, while you could mistake others for a migraine. Some indicators of an impending seizure include:

  • Partial blindness
  • Sleepwalking
  • Automatism or repetitive motions
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of touch with reality
  • Hallucinations
  • Paralysis 

These symptoms depend on the type of seizure. 

Types of Seizures

TBIs have three types of seizures associated with them: early post-traumatic, late post-traumatic, and epilepsy. The first two earn their names based on the time of their occurrence. Epilepsy, however, is often a life-long condition.

The Epilepsy Foundation states that a tenth of all people with a TBI will experience an early post-traumatic seizure. These seizures occur within the first week following the injury. A small portion of these people will experience another seizure in the future.

A late post-traumatic seizure occurs more than a week after the injurious incident. These seizures may take the rest of your life to occur. Additionally, you have a higher chance of developing epilepsy with a late post-traumatic seizure.

Epilepsy is the medical condition in which you will have two or more seizures in your lifetime. You’ll need to consult a medical professional about how to manage your epileptic condition. 

How an NYC Neurologist Treats Post-Traumatic Seizures

An NYC neurologist can help you find a treatment plan that encourages your recovery while minimizing your risk for seizures. They may use tools to diagnose the source of the problem.

For example, a CT scan can pick up on damage from a fresh injury, including brain swelling, blood clots, or pools of blood left from the incident. An MRI might pick up on damaged tissue from old injuries. So whether your seizure occurred a week ago or several years ago, your neurologist has the tools to identify the issue.

A neurologist might also prescribe medications to help you cope with your seizures. They could also recommend certain lifestyle changes to improve your prognosis long-term. 

Seizure Self-Management

While early post-traumatic seizures usually only occur in a tenth of people with TBIs, that number can increase to 25% for people with risk factors like alcohol consumption. According to an article by Randolph W. Evans M.D. and Steven C. Schachter M.D., alcoholic substances can inflate your likelihood of developing seizures.

You can also take seizure management or prevention into your own hands in other ways. Implement a healthy exercise routine. Coupled with a balanced, healthy diet, this can improve multiple conditions over time. It may also speed up your recovery process by encouraging circulation, fostering healthy sleep, and providing your body with proper nourishment. 

Schedule an Appointment with the Best Neurologist in NYC Today

Can hitting your head cause seizures? Evidence suggests that it could if the impact results in a traumatic brain injury. Fortunately, a reliable neurologist in NYC can help.

Call Medical Clinics of New York City at 1-877-465-7360 today. Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, finding compassionate, qualified care is essential. 

FAQs About Post-Traumatic Seizures

Can a mild concussion cause seizures?

Yes, a mild concussion can cause seizures. Any injury that leaves blood, scarred tissues, or bone fragments in the brain can disrupt the brain’s processes for years in the future.  

What do head seizures feel like? 

Head seizures may feel like a series of unfamiliar and strange, foreign sensations. You may feel confused, feverish, or sick to your stomach due to seizures. 

When do seizures start after hitting your head?

Seizures can start in as little as 24 hours after you hit your head or take up to a week to develop. In addition, you may not experience a seizure related to head trauma for years.