Delayed Concussion Symptoms
Paul Brannon | July 26, 2022 | Brain Injuries
Concussions are some of the most common traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and usually result from an impact to the head or body. Though these brain injuries are generally considered mild, any trauma to the brain can have serious implications over the short and long term.
Sometimes, when individuals suffer a head injury, they don’t realize they have a concussion until hours or even days after their accident. This phenomenon is called a “delayed concussion.”
Certain situations increase your risk of sustaining a concussion, including contact sports, car crashes, bicycle accidents, and dangerous work conditions.
Knowing the symptoms of regular and delayed concussions is important if you’ve been involved in an accident.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion happens when the head or body receives a blow strong enough to cause the brain to bounce back and forth inside the skull. Sudden and rapid movements in the head can cause swelling, chemical changes, and brain cell damage.
When a concussion occurs, individuals can exhibit a variety of symptoms, including:
- Excessive fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Memory issues
- Sleep apnea
- Sensitivity to light and noise
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a concussion aren’t always immediate or clear. Every brain injury is unique, and many factors such as age and health can play a role in how a concussion manifests after an injury.
Brain Injuries Aren’t Always Apparent
When someone suffers a concussion, it’s not uncommon for stress or other physical pain to overshadow the symptoms of a brain injury.
People may attribute their headaches, dizziness, and cognitive symptoms to being “shaken up” by their recent injury. This is especially true for anyone involved in sports injuries, falls, or car accidents.
After a traumatic experience, concussions aren’t always the go-to assumption.
Additionally, concussion awareness is not widespread. Many people are unaware of the dangers of mild brain injuries. As a result, they don’t seek medical attention.
Delayed Concussions Explained
A delayed concussion happens when the symptoms of the injury don’t immediately show up.
Generally, delayed concussions occur because inflammation in the brain can be slow to develop. Just as an injury to an arm or leg might take some time to bruise and swell, the brain works similarly after it experiences trauma.
Delayed concussions can take up to 48 hours to present themselves. When they do, the pressure and swelling can disrupt blood flow and deprive the brain of oxygen.
Symptoms of a delayed concussion include:
- Slurred speech
- Concentration problems
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
These symptoms are attributed to your brain’s response to the inflammation, and the pain often worsens before it gets better.
Serious Consequences of Delayed Concussions
In serious cases, concussions can cause a blood clot in the brain, also known as a hematoma. When this happens, excess blood crowds the brain and puts extra pressure on delicate tissue.
Blood clots are often associated with delayed concussions because they similarly take time to develop. This dangerous condition requires immediate medical attention, or you risk serious brain injury and even death.
The symptoms of a blood clot in the brain include:
- Persistent or worsening headache
- Different sized pupils
- Excessive drowsiness
- Loss of consciousness
Ignoring the symptoms of even a minor concussion can lead to additional brain complications. The brain is a delicate organ, and any untreated damage can result in the worsening of symptoms.
What Are the Next Steps After Suffering a Head Injury?
If you’ve suffered any type of injury to your head and you experience abnormal symptoms like headaches, nausea, or blurred vision, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Ignoring the signs of a concussion can result in dangerous complications and, in some cases, even death.
Contact Our Brain Injuries Law Firm in Northwest Florida
We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547