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Minor Head Injury

Minor Head Injury

Minor head injury is the most common type of head injury and has the mildest symptoms. This injury occurs when a person experiences a direct and sudden blow to the head. In the vast majority of cases, minor head injuries result from falls.

Most people who have a mild head injury or mild concussion recover without needing treatment. However, an examination by a doctor is still needed to prevent worsening of symptoms and complications.

Causes and Risk Factors for Minor Head Injury

The brain is an organ formed from soft tissue. This vital organ is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid which functions to protect the brain when a collision occurs in the head.

Minor head injuries occur when the brain hits the skull bone. As a result, brain function becomes temporarily disrupted.

There are several conditions or activities that are at risk of causing minor head injuries, namely:

  • Falls, especially in children and the elderly
  • Participating in sports where there is a risk of impact, such as football, hockey and boxing, especially if you are not wearing protective gear
  • Having an accident, for example while cycling or driving a motorized vehicle
  • Experiencing physical violence, such as a hit or blow to the head
  • Have a history of collision or injury to the head

Symptoms of Mild Head Injury

Mild head injuries can cause a variety of symptoms, both physical, sensory nerves and mental. Some symptoms may appear immediately after the incident, while others may appear days or weeks later.

The following are physical symptoms that can result from a minor head injury:

  • Hard to sleep
  • Easily tired and sleepy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Balance disorders
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Speech disorder
  • dazed
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes

In the sensory nervous system, the symptoms can include:

  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Sensitive to light and sound
  • Changes in the sense of smell
  • Ringing ears
  • Blurred vision

While the mental symptoms that can arise from a minor head injury include:

  • Changeable mood
  • It's easy to feel anxious and depressed
  • Impaired memory and concentration

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you or your child has a head injury even if they don't have any symptoms.

Immediately seek medical attention or go to the nearest hospital emergency room if a person closest to you experiences a blow to the head and the following complaints appear:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • dazed
  • Ringing ears
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Bleeding from nose or ears
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • Changes in behavior and speech
  • Changes in mental and body movement coordination
  • Changes in the eyes, such as enlarged pupils or not the same size between the right and left
  • Visual disturbance
  • Weakened limbs
  • seizures

Diagnosis of Minor Head Injury

The doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced, and whether there is a history of a blow to the head. After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination to determine the severity of the head injury suffered by the patient.

The physical examination was carried out using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). GCS will measure the patient's ability to move the eyes and limbs, as well as the patient's response in following the commands given.

In GCS, the patient's ability will be rated from 3 to 15. The higher the score, the lighter the severity. Mild head injury is on a scale of 13 to 15.

Apart from GCS, doctors can also perform other examinations, such as:

  • Nerve examination , to determine the function of vision, hearing, and balance
  • A scan of the head with a CT scan or MRI, to see how severe the injury is

Treatment of Mild Head Injury

Mild head injuries usually do not require special treatment. The doctor will advise the patient to rest and prescribe paracetamol to relieve headaches.

Doctors will also advise patients not to do activities that can worsen symptoms, for example activities that require a lot of movement or high concentration.

Even so, patients are not advised to rest completely. It's a good idea to do light activity every now and then so you can know if your symptoms get worse or other symptoms appear. If so, check with your doctor so you can get treatment right away.

To help the recovery process, there are several things that must be considered, namely:

  • Don't take aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills or sedatives, such as alprazolam, unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not drive, operate machinery and exercise until fully recovered.
  • Ask your doctor when you can return to school, exercise, or work.

Minor Head Injury Complications

Minor head injuries can lead to a number of the following complications:

  • Post-traumatic headache, which can appear up to 7 days after the injury
  • Post-traumatic vertigo , which can appear days, weeks, or even months after the injury
  • Post-concussion syndrome, including headaches, dizziness, and difficulty thinking that doesn't go away for up to 3 weeks after the injury

Prevention of Minor Head Injury

The following are some steps you can take to avoid minor head injuries:

  • Use personal protective equipment when carrying out activities or sports that have a risk of collision
  • Wearing a seat belt when driving a car and wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle
  • Ensuring safety at home, such as making handrails on stairs and installing non-slip mats to keep bathroom floors from slipping
  • Exercise regularly to train your balance and strengthen your leg muscles
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