Striking your head on an object during an automobile accident can lead to significant physical and cognitive problems. However, the signs of brain injury may not be evident at first. Some symptoms, such as fatigue or headaches, may appear unrelated to the accident.
Fortunately, a medical assessment and diagnosis from an experienced doctor will help you discover more about your condition.
At Medical Clinics of New York City, we help you understand the signs of brain injury following a car accident. Additionally, we explain the importance of partnering with a neurologist for a thorough evaluation.
Understanding Traumatic Injuries
Traumatic injuries are emergencies that call for immediate medical intervention. Some examples include spinal injuries, gunshot wounds, and burns.
Additionally, a traumatic injury may cause significant psychological distress for the victim. As you can expect, car accidents sometimes cause traumatic injuries that impact the physical and mental well-being of the victim.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden blow or jolt causes damage to the brain. In the case of car accidents, the common causes of TBI include whiplash, concussions, and penetrative wounds.
Symptoms of a Car Accident Brain Injury
Damage to the brain affects everyone differently. A brain injury caused by a car accident may manifest itself as headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, or inability to speak.
Medical doctors categorize TBI into mild, moderate, and severe. Depending on the details of the accident, patients may manifest some or multiple symptoms of TBI.
Let’s look at how a car accident brain injury can affect the body.
The brain is a critical organ in our anatomy. It regulates all speech and motor functions essential to daily activity. If a car accident damages the brain, it can lead to long-lasting physical setbacks.
Physical signs of brain injury include headaches, dizziness, and inability to speak. In severe cases, seizures, vomiting, and paralysis may occur.
Cognitive dysfunction remains one of the most apparent signs of brain injury. Children incur a higher risk of developing mental impairments from TBI because their brains are still developing.
Someone who experiences cognitive dysfunction may display outward symptoms, or they may notice them privately. For example, some outward signs of brain damage include:
- Trouble speaking clearly or experiencing “word salad”
- Inability to wake up easily
- Dissociation or displaying “the thousand-yard stare”
Alternatively, private symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
Symptoms interfering with perceptions impact how patients interact and communicate with the world around them. Car accident injuries may damage parts of the brain that facilitate sensory functions, such as sight and smell.
Symptoms of mild TBI include tinnitus, strange tastes in the mouth, and distorted vision. In severe cases, these injuries may limit one’s field of vision or ability to walk in a straight line.
How a Neurologist Can Help
A neurologist uses MRI or computed tomography CT scans to find signs of brain injury.
These technologies provide images of bone and soft tissue. CT is the first choice in imaging when there is a suspected intracranial hemorrhage. MRI provides detailed images of the brain and spinal cord. Neurologists use this information to provide a comprehensive diagnosis of the injury.
Additionally, a neurologist will discuss treatment options and may prescribe medication if the patient experiences symptoms like seizures.
In many cases, they will refer the patient to other health professionals for additional treatment. Those who manage brain injuries may benefit from the services of physiatrists, physical therapists, and cognitive therapists.
Brain Injury Treatments
Depending on the severity of brain damage, a patient may require different rehabilitation methods. For emergencies, surgery may be an appropriate solution. However, medication and therapy may be effective in reducing pain and restoring cognitive functions.
A neurologist will discuss the details of these options and what to expect during a consultation.
Find an Experienced Neurologist in NYC
Finding a reliable neurologist in NYC can be a hassle. Fortunately, we make scheduling at Medical Clinics of New York City stress-free. Our neurologists have years of education and experience treating dozens of brain-related conditions.
We promote safe and effective rehabilitation with state-of-the-art CT scans and clean facilities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. If you experienced a head injury following a car accident, seek medical assistance immediately. We provide honest and transparent information during every visit.