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The dangers of head injuries

By Buffalo Medical Group | February 28 2017 | Doctor Tips

Even if it’s not a concussion, it can still be dangerous. That’s one important thing to keep in mind during Brain Injury Awareness Month. In the past, it was believed that if a hit to the head didn’t cause a concussion, there was no brain injury. Now, physicians are learning that even hard hits that do not cause a concussion can lead to changes in the brain.

These “subconcussive” hits are often hard enough to be jarring, but don’t always result in obvious concussion symptoms, and can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Though CTE can only be diagnosed during an autopsy, it is the most troublesome potential effect of multiple concussive and subconcussive impacts, leading to memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression over time.

With winter sports in full swing, it’s important to protect your head whenever possible. Helmets are always recommended, and knowing the signs of a head injury are also important. Here are the top three  head injury signs to watch for after sustaining an impact to the head:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • A headache that won’t go away
  • Any neurological symptoms, such as memory loss, visual or hearing change, or sensory or motor problems

Contact your doctor immediately if you or your child receives an impact to the head that concerns you or causes behavioral changes. Seek emergency medical attention if there are any signs or symptoms of traumatic brain injury following a recent blow or other traumatic injury to the head.