Car accidents, falls and sports all involve the risk of bumps to the head. In some cases, what seems like a minor bump can lead to lasting damage, including depression, difficulty concentrating and cognitive processing delays. The reality is that seemingly low-impact bumps can cause concussions, which should be diagnosed and monitored soon after the accident.

How do I know if it’s a problem?

People often wonder whether it really is necessary to see a doctor after the slightest bump to the head. What is important to understand is that it takes very little force for your brain to bounce around inside your skull, and that is essentially what a concussion is.

Concussions, even mild ones, are classified as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Drowsiness

Are there long-term complications?

According to the University of Utah, concussions are fairly common but can have long-term health consequences. Post-concussive syndrome affects few people, but for those who do experience it, it is devastating, often leading to work, school and personal issues. Symptoms include sleep problems, light and noise sensitivity, inability to concentrate, and irritability and other personality changes.

Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial for a beneficial long-term outlook. Treatment generally includes physical rest, as well as “resting the brain” by refraining from activities that require complex thinking skills. In general, it is important for patients to get the prompt medical care they need soon after a head injury.

For more on matters of personal injury and the types of compensation available to injury victims, please see our personal injury overview.