What is closed head injury?

Closed Head Injury

What are the symptoms of a closed head injury?

After a mild closed head injury, you may have a headache or just feel "off." These symptoms usually go away within several weeks. If you had a more severe injury, you may have symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, trouble walking, or mood changes. Some people develop postconcussive syndrome. And you may have new symptoms.

How is a closed head injury treated?

Any person who may have a closed head injury needs to see a doctor. Some people have to stay in the hospital to be watched. If you have a severe closed head injury, you may need medicine. You may also need surgery. Other people can go home safely. If you go home, follow your doctor's instructions. The doctor will tell you if you need someone to watch you closely for the next 24 hours or longer.

Rest is the best treatment. Get plenty of sleep at night. And try to rest during the day.

  • Avoid activities that are physically or mentally demanding. These include housework, exercise, and schoolwork. And don't play video games, send text messages, or use the computer. You may need to change your school or work schedule to be able to avoid these activities.
  • Ask your doctor when it's okay to drive, ride a bike, or operate machinery.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Check with your doctor before you use any other medicines for pain.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. They can slow recovery. They can also increase your risk of getting a second head injury.

How is a closed head injury diagnosed?

To diagnose your injury your doctor may ask you questions that test your learning and memory. Or your doctor may ask you to solve problems. Your doctor will check your strength, balance, coordination, reflexes, and sensation. You may have imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI.

How can you care for yourself when you have a closed head injury?

Work with your doctor on ways to care for yourself after a closed head injury. Follow the doctor's instructions about medicines, eating, and activity. Try to avoid activities that could cause another head injury. And go to any follow-up visits.

What is a closed head injury?

A closed head injury happens when your head gets hit hard. The strong force of the blow causes your brain to shake in your skull. This movement can cause the brain to bruise, swell, or tear. Sometimes nerves or blood vessels also get damaged. This can cause bleeding in or around the brain.

A concussion is a type of closed head injury.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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