Head Injuries: What to look for and what treatments are available
Our office has handled many head injury cases. As a result, we have learned a number of important lessons. We would like to share our observations. Our goal is to educate our clients on how head injuries occur, what symptoms the injured person and their family should look for, and what treatments are available for people that have a head injury.
Head injuries are often the result of a blow to the head. However, medical science has proven that is not necessary to strike your head to suffer from a head injury in a traumatic event. Individuals often suffer head injuries in automobile collisions even though they did not strike their head. The brain can be injured by jolting movements which cause the brain to impact the inside of the skull. This is what happens in shaken baby syndrome. It is important to note that someone can suffer a head injury, yet diagnostic studies like MRIs and CT scans may not find any anomalies. Medical science recognizes that not all head injuries show up on these studies. It is important to understand this because we have met many folks that tell us they don’t have a head injury because nothing showed up on a scan. Yet, these very same people are having trouble functioning and their family members are concerned because of the changes they began to notice right after the collision.
Symptoms to look for:
Whenever we have a client that we think may have suffered from a head injury, we insist that the client bring one or more close family members to our office so we can interview them. We ask very basic questions: Are there memory problems? Do you see a significant change in personality? Are they easily frustrated or angered? Do they have trouble selecting what words they want to use? Do they repeat themselves or ask the same questions? Other problems could show up, such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus.) Headaches are also an indicator that someone sustained a head injury. In fact, we regularly represent folks that have suffered from Post Traumatic Headache Syndrome, (which will be the subject of a future blog) which can be very troubling. People often report problems with their vision as well.
Treatment for head injuries usually involve a neurologist and a neuropsychologist to determine the extent of injury and how it will affect the injured person. A Neuropsychologist is a psychologist with specialized training to understand the relationship between the physical brain and behavior. They typically conduct a one day battery of tests. Using testing and interviews they can evaluate whether someone suffered from a head injury. If you require treatment, a neuropsychologist will often recommend that you see an occupational therapist to help sort out the problems you are having and come up with solutions. If you suffer from tinnitus you may be referred to an audiologist to get a diagnosis and assist you with therapies. Vision problems may result in a referral for vision therapy or other optometry specialists.
If you have suffered from a closed head injury, we recommend that you immediately consult with a doctor. We also recommend that you consult with a lawyer who is experienced in the area of law that can help sort out the many issues that present themselves when someone incurs a head injury.