As with any injury sustained from a crash, brain trauma can be scarring and have long-lasting effects.
It may not always be obvious at first, since signs of severe damage may arise days or even weeks after the collision.
According to the Mayo Clinic, brain trauma occurs when a car crash jolts a passenger or driver suddenly and violently to a stop. Physical, cognitive, and sensory symptoms may start to show after time has passed, even if you assume you were unhurt.
While bleeding or outward scrapes or gashes are easier to spot, internal injuries can hide if persistent symptoms that go unnoticed.
Signs and problems
Sleeping restlessly or sleeping too much, feeling tired or vomiting occurs in less traumatic injuries. You may even lose consciousness for a short time directly after the crash. Mood swings are common, as well as bad tastes in your mouth or continual ringing in your ears.
In more severe cases, increased vomiting and strong headaches are often warning signs for brain trauma. Seizures or drainage from your eyes or ears may occur only hours after a crash. In this case, seeking medical attention is a priority.
If left untreated, trauma can impair your sense of smell and vision permanently. Vertigo or ringing in your ears can cause you to be unsteady on your feet, while cognitive memory or multitasking functions can decrease due to brain injuries.
Children and the elderly are especially at risk for increased health complications, as well as young adults. Knowing the warning signs for brain trauma may help you decide to seek care.