The pupils in a traumatic brain injury may become constricted because of swelling in the brain.
Injury to the neck or head may also cause the eyes to become partially or completely obstructed. This is referred to as retro-orbital hematoma.
Retro-orbital hematoma usually causes a mild headache and is usually not serious. However, sometimes the condition can lead to a serious condition called a subdural hematoma. This is a slow-growing collection of blood in the space between the brain and the surface of the skull.
Retro-orbital hematoma can be difficult to diagnose and can be extremely dangerous. If you have severe head trauma, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Injury to the eyes
Your eyes can be injured in many ways, including being hit by a car or a falling object.
If you injure your eyes in a fall while you’re unconscious or unable to see, a small amount of blood may leak from the eye. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage.
If you injure your eyes while awake, you can be at risk for retinal damage. This can result from a blow to the eye.
Retinal damage can be serious and prevent you from seeing with your eyes. It can also affect your ability to see colors.
Retinal damage usually causes pain, double vision, and blurred vision. If this happens, you should see an eye doctor for an evaluation.
Retinal damage that is caused by a serious head injury may also cause sudden loss of vision. This condition is called retinal detachment.
Retinal detachment is a potentially serious medical condition. If you have retinal detachment after a head injury, you should get medical treatment right away.
Retinal detachment can lead to complete vision loss. If that happens, talk to your doctor about surgery.
Injury to the ears
Sometimes, a head injury can cause damage to your ears, leading to hearing loss.
If you’ve had a head injury, you should talk to your doctor about the impact to your hearing. If you have hearing loss, you may also have trouble hearing.
If you have hearing loss after a head injury, it’s important to see an audiologist. This is an expert in hearing conditions. They can help you regain sound after a head injury.
Injury to the throat
Your throat can be injured in many ways, including choking.
If you’ve been accidentally choked, a small amount of blood may be coughed up from your mouth. This is called a pharyngeal or laryngeal hematoma.
If you’ve been accidentally choked and are unconscious, it’s important to get medical treatment right away.
Pharyngeal hematoma is a serious medical condition. If you have it, you’re at risk for a life-threatening condition called a tension pneumothorax. This is a collapsed lung.
Tension pneumothorax can be fatal, especially if you don’t get treatment right away.
Treatment for this condition involves inserting a chest tube into the chest, which draws out the air from your chest.
If you have a serious head injury, you should also see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
Injury to the brain
Traumatic brain injury can cause a variety of symptoms. These symptoms may vary depending on the location of the injury.
If you have a head injury, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of consciousness
These symptoms can be caused by a variety of traumatic brain injuries.
Some common head injury types can cause these symptoms.
- A blow to the head
- A rotational force to the head
- A loss of consciousness
- A blow to the neck
- A fall
- A car accident
If you’ve had a head injury, you need to see a doctor right away.
The doctor will examine your head and check for any signs of bleeding, swelling, or other damage. They may also order imaging tests.
Imaging tests can help your doctor see whether you have bleeding in the brain. They can even be used to check how much bleeding there is and where it’s located.
Treatment for traumatic brain injury
Treatment for this type of injury depends on the severity of the injury. If you receive emergency treatment, you will be taken to the hospital.
In the hospital, you will receive treatment for your head injury. Depending on the type of head injury, you may receive:
- IV fluids
- Antiseizure medications
- Steroid medication
- Anticonvulsant medication
- Antipsychotic medication
- Pain medication
- A sedative for pain relief
Depending on the severity of your head injury, you may also need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
After you leave the hospital, you may need to have a follow-up appointment with a neurologist. A follow-up appointment is often required once you’ve been discharged.
If you have a severe head injury and you’re not going to be able to speak for a few days, you may need to wear a speaking device. This is known as a tracheostomy.
Talk with your doctor
If you’ve had a head injury, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away.
Your doctor can help you determine the seriousness of your injury and help you recover as quickly as possible.
You should also contact your doctor if you experience:
- Double vision
- Vision loss
- Slurred speech
These symptoms can be signs of a serious head injury. If you experience them, you should get medical care right away.
You should also seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. They can help you determine the cause of your symptoms and come up with a treatment plan.
The bottom line
Sometimes a head injury can cause serious symptoms. This can be especially true with concussions.
Seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing any of the following:
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