A car accident is a jarring experience. You need to get the damaged vehicles off the road, cooperate with law enforcement and check everyone’s medical condition. It’s a whirlwind of activity immediately after a shocking situation. Amid the chaos, you need to consider your own health as well. While it’s human nature to look for injuries you can see, internal injuries can be even more severe.
As drivers and passengers react to a car crash, few think about concussions. A concussion is a brain injury with potentially lifelong consequences. The CDC notes that motor vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations and deaths. Concussions aren’t just caused by a bump to the head: a sudden whiplash-like movement can cause brain injury.
Identifying a concussion
With brain injuries, recovery is the most important step. Every concussion and every individual brain is different. It requires medical expertise to diagnose and treat the injury. Popular Science explains that most people will recover from a concussion within two to four weeks, but it’s important not to aggravate or reinjure your brain in that time or the consequences grow.
Because there is no visible damage, it’s important to pay attention to how you feel after an accident.
Common concussion symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
- Memory problems
- Ringing of the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling tense or stressed
Recovery and recuperation
Victims of a mild concussion usually fully recover, with only 10-20 percent showing any issues a year later. In large part, diagnosis and treatment are the key factors to recovery. Popular Science explains that rest is advised for some concussions, but activity and exercise for others. Each case is unique and it requires precise treatment to make sure you’re getting better. The wrong response after a concussion can make the situation works and have long-term effects.
Treating unseen injuries
Even if you feel normal and don’t have any visible bumps or bruises, it’s still essential to visit a doctor for a full health check after an accident. A doctor will help identify internal and external injuries from the accident while documenting your pain and suffering. Brain injuries may not look like much from the outside, but they can significantly change your life, your relationships and your ability to do your job. How you respond after the incident will affect how you recover.