While motorcycle helmets do offer a great deal of protection, you still run the risk of a serious head injury should you encounter a negligent driver on your bike. These injuries range from concussions, which are usually minor, to major damage that has long-term effects.
In some situations, you must seek out immediate medical care to prevent bad effects from having an even greater toll on your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain what to look out for if you’ve experienced a serious head injury.
Categories of head injury symptoms
It can be difficult to identify head injury symptoms, as they may not emerge until days or weeks after the accident has taken place. These symptoms usually fall into one of four categories, which are physical, emotional, thinking, and sleep.
Physical symptoms include nausea, head pain, balance and coordination issues, fatigue, light sensitivity, and dizziness. Mood swings, increased anxiety, frustration, and depression all fall into the emotional category. Thinking or cognition issues include problems remembering, difficulty retaining new information, an inability to concentrate, and feeling like your ability to think as been slowed down or diminished. Sleep issues include getting too much or too little sleep, or insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.
When urgent medical care is needed
While the above effects must be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible, other signs indicate a need for immediate care. These include:
- Persistent headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Differences in pupil size
- Weak or numb extremities
- Amnesia-like symptoms
Severe head injuries can also cause abnormal behavior in the victim, such as increased aggression or anger that is out of character. When there are concerns that damage is severe, the best course of action is to visit an emergency room immediately.
Many people make full recoveries from head injuries, even when damage is serious. However, the best chance of a good prognosis is receiving swift medical care.