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Signs you have a head injury

Head injuries are not always easy to diagnose. The early symptoms can feel like something else and some of the other symptoms don’t appear until days later.

Head injuries come with physical, sensory and cognitive symptoms, not just a bump on the impact site. If you are struck on the head at your workplace, look out for these symptoms in the days ahead.

Mild injuries

Physical symptoms of a mild head injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • A state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory problems include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in your sense of smell. Someone with a mild head injury may also be sensitive to light and sound. Cognitive symptoms include memory or concentration problems, mood changes/mood swings, or feeling depressed or anxious.

Moderate to severe injuries

The symptoms for moderate to severe head injuries are mostly the same as that of milder injuries, just stronger. Any loss of consciousness lasts longer, typically several minutes or hours. Headaches, nausea and vomiting are persistent. New symptoms include:

  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one of both pupils
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness/numbness in the fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Profound confusion, agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma or other consciousness disorders

When to see a doctor

If you are the victim of a head injury, seek immediate medical attention. If you were injured while on the job, your medical care should be covered by your employer through their workers’ compensation insurance, which all employers in New York are required to have. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if there is additional compensation available, as well.

Head injuries can cause long-term damage. If you are hit on the head at work, keep an eye out for any symptoms and take care of yourself right away.

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