When Can We Stop Worrying After a Hit on the Head?

Ask the Expert: When Can We Stop Worrying After a Hit on the Head?
Question: 

About a month ago, my wife tripped while hiking and hit her head. We went to our Emergency Department and they did a CT scan, which was “clean.” Other than an occasional headache, my wife feels fine. Is there a time when we can stop worrying?

Answer: 

The CT scan that was done in the Emergency Department is helpful because it showed there was no bleed in your wife’s head (hemorrhage) that would require surgery. That being said, most of the time after a concussion — or mild brain injury — a CT scan does not show any evidence of injury and yet some people may continue to have symptoms related to the concussion. The injury to the brain in a concussion is generally to the neurons and axons that are microscopic and therefore not seen on CT scan. Symptoms can be broken down into four categories:

Many symptoms from mild traumatic brain injuries resolve themselves with some time and rest and it seems this is the case with your wife. However, if her headaches do not continue to improve, if they are limiting your her function, or if they worsen, it would be appropriate to take her for a re-evaluation by your physician.

 

Posted on BrainLine January 19, 2010. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

Comments (222)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I went swimming recently and went jump of a ledge, it was deep enough but as I was coming up from the water I hit my head bad on a curved rock. I had a huge egg and was rushed to the local hospital after some time and medication they said that I would be perfectly fine but when I tried to sleep that night I had trouble I was pretty sheken up about what could have happened and I get really anxious when I think about what happened. Is this normal? Or should I try to talk to someone?

I jumped out of bed to go to bathroom. Felt lightheaded and when I tried to sit down on the potty i got dizzy and fell headfirst into ceramic tile. I got a four inch knob that feels squishy and hurts. Black left eye. No other symptoms. I thought since I had no symptoms there was no need for er. How long is normal for squishy bump to go away?

Last year on Halloween night I was involved in a pretty bad fight. I ended up being stomped on the head - hard enough that left the foot print on my temple. Not only that incident but in that same week was hell week for my frat. So along with the massive drinking after my head injury we had a boxing tournament which I somehow made it to the finals. Which means I went through 12 rounds of 3 minutes each of blows to the head - enough to make me throw up after the 3rd match.

It’s now a year later and the feeling of constant pressure on my brain - mainly in the back of my head has not faded. Some moments of the day are more felt than others but there’s usually a few moments of the day where I feel like my brain is being squeezed enough where it’s going to pop.

Not only the feeling of my brain having pressure on it, I can tell my vision and hearing have gotten worse. Along with other cognitive abilities like reading or focusing in on one thing for an extended period of time.

I plan on going to the doctor now since these feelings since this has happened a little more than a year ago have only gotten worse than better. Just don’t know how to tell my parents.

Smashed my head falling head onto a serrated rock’went to A&E and they glued me up and sent me home’8 months down the line still in pain,confused and headaches,why no head scan.

I knocked my head just a little in the back of my wall not too hard but now I’m scared and my eyes feel tired what should I do

Me too... I bump my head too lightly because I was going to lean on the wall but then I miscalculated and bump my head first before my back. I feel light headed and some mild pain where I bum my head and nothing more. But scared too...

Fell and hit my head over a year ago. MRI and CT scan was fine. They did not show anything was wrong, but I still filling lightheaded a time, some headaches and also trying to remember certain things. How long will it take for me to feel better.

I tripped over and banged my head very hard on the top of the coffee table leg which protrude thru a cutout above the top of the table... Had a huge and very painful bump above and to the side of my left eye... Now I'm foe getting how to do simple stuff have dizzy spell and get a short circuit ING feeling and sound in my head... What can I do

I hit the side of my head hard on the bathroom floor when I was drunk. It created a knot and it’s been 2 days. I still have a headache that won’t go away. Idk what to do.

I bumped my head on counter and now it hurts whenever I touch the spot that got hurt

I hit my head at school

Hi I have just banged my head on the kitchen cupboard door
And it hurts and feels numb and there’s pain in the other side of my head

On Monday I fell backwards down my stairs and really banged my head. Today my neck hurts and I feel a bit dizzy. I also have a really big bruise on my bumcheek, which is really painful due to the fall. Not to sure what to do. Also my jaw feels a bit tender wen I try to open it to wide.

Go to the doctor you have have an concussion or something or try to put ice on your head and neck
May help the pain go away

Just 20 minutes ago I hit my head on a cupboard and I’m scared that I’ll have a concussion, I also easily get get scared and worried at somethings like this so I just wanted to know what to do I’ve even put frozen peas on my head for like14 minutes but I’m getting worried cause my head is still hurting.??!!

In car accident hit my head on window dr said slight concussion its been days but still getting sharp pains intermitting and the area behind my ear is very itchy at times

i fell of my bed and hit my head

I hit my head of glass draws really hard and it was months ago yet some swelling appears you can see vain risen on my head at times I can't stay awake I feel drugged up bad head memory bad what should I do

I think it’s very important that you see a doctor asap, this is serious.

Last week hit my head on a bunk bed . That night had pain . It went away but now I can’t sleep on the side where I got hit. And it hurts when I chew. Is it a concussion or something else.

Had the same thing happen to me only the back of my head but I still can’t lay on it without some pain. It’s been two weeks for me.

I was knocked off my bike by an escooter and hit my head hard on the metal post of the scooter. Large egg that appears to be squishy in the middle now (assuming that means it's draining?) It's now 6 hours on and I have migraine type light effects when I look near a light source (think white wiggling lines). Should I be concerned? Otherwise I seem fine apart from headache but that's to be expected

Go to the doctor asap

Hi! Friday night, I slipped and fell and hit my head on concrete. Never lost consciousness, and didn’t throw up. Huge knot immediately, but haven’t really had a headache just a lot of anxiety, because I’m terrified I have a brain injury. It’s sore to the touch and the knot has gone down. No nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, no shaking, no seizures, this is 2 days later. Is it the clear zone I am in? Or should I still take it easy the next week: I have done nothing but rest the last 2 days.

Hi, this happened to me last night. How’re you feeling now?

I fell down stairs about 2 an half months ago ....hit my face on down stairs wall then banged back of my head on concrete floor .big black eye ..still got a small bruise on my cheek bone. An back of my head still sore to touch .never went to hospital!
..

I smashed the top of my head on the 21th of April 2021 in a door frame which was not properly signaled at my work place.
I have vision problems like eye strain and dry eyes and dizziness. I visited the optometrist and confirmed the dry eye and a the presence of not a very high prescription. Do you think dry eye and eye strain could be due to the concussion? would the glasses fix the problem? I also have light sensivity and busy environments make me feel worse.
Thanks

I was hit pretty hard on my head on Friday, my husband did not want to take me in to be checked said I should just wait till I have any symptoms. Today, 4 days later I had a pain in my head and it went straight to where I hit my head. My question is, should i be concerned or is this normal for being hit on your head by a table?

i’m surprised how cool people are with head traumas, you’re husband should’ve took you to the hospital right away.l, it’s so serious please go see a doctor.

Go to doctor

I hit my head on new freezer door on corner now every time I touch it its so painful

It happened with me today few minutes ago... swelling and worried about that

Currently recovering from a moderate TBI. Here's the instructions I received on a few occasions on reaching the best recovery possible:

*Rest - very important
*Limit physical and mental activity to as little as possible.
*When symptoms start getting a little worse, stop what I'm doing and rest.
*Avoid stress, bright lighting, loud noises, and socializing as much as possible.
*If symptoms get worse even while resting, go back to the ER.
*If I start having seizures or a severe headache, go back to the ER.
*After some progress has been made in recovery, EASE back into the normal life going by symptoms (as soon as they get worse, return to rest in a quiet environment).

Bottom line: get checked out AT the time of injury AND especially if symptoms get worse or appear later on. It's not something to mess with, complications can arise hours, days, weeks, and rarely months to years after injury (per my specialist). Be careful, stay safe, and best of luck with recovery.

Any head injury that causes altered senses, persistent or worsening headache, nausea or vomiting, foggy feeling, or anything concerning should always be checked by a doctor. Whether symptoms are immediate or later on, get checked out. Even if you were checked out at the time of injury and symptoms appear or worsen after, go back as bleeding in or around the brain can start later on. I'm no doctor, but multiple traumatic brain injuries. Twice this year already I fell and the back of my head hit the concrete hard. The last time was 4/27, only a big goose egg immediately, been steadily getting worse each day. Going to get checked out tomorrow. Seizure last night, confusion, memory issues, speech problems, thought problems, vision problems, nausea severely, shaky, and burning/stinging sensation with persistent headache in my brain. Blood pressure changes along with more frequent arrythmias. Swelling has covered more of an area since. I know I shouldn't wait, but my situation is something I can't control. Takes forever to type, and screens make symptoms worse. Limit screen time and all mental forms of stimulation to a minimum until recovered, it will hinder recovery. I wasn't healed from the last blow to the head, spoke with the ER doctor, since I can't get in yet: rest, avoid stress and any thinking as much as possible, avoid sudden movements, avoid loud noises, and do not take aspirin until getting tests done to check for bleeding. His thought by what happened and gradual worsening symptoms: slow brain bleed/subdural hematoma, and because of multiple blows to the head, recovery will take a long time, possibly years, maybe never a full recovery.

So, get checked out everyone, it's nothing to mess with, and the sooner the better. Time for me to rest. Get well everyone.

I work with children and got hit in the head with a toy about a week ago, I can feel a dent where the toy hit a some pain in the area. What should I do because it doesn't seem to get any better, no matter what I do.

Did posting here make you feel any better?

11days ago I fell backwards on to a concrete floor and banged the back of my head really hard I didn’t loose consciousness it was in a store I must have laid on the floor with help from the staff for about half an hour till my daughter came for me the bump has been sore but is easing off now I’ve been very lucky I hope, occasionally I get a sharp pain in the site were the bump is might last a few minutes and comes and goes which does worry me a little

My mother got on a motorcycle accident 3 days ago and hit her head on the concrete road. She felt dizzy after the impact she got on her head just right after it happened but she doesn't fell dizzy anymore until now. There was no bleeding or cut in her head, she has no other issues except from the swelling and redness/ bruised in a small part of her head.
I just want to ask if, is there anything we need to worry about or is it just a simple bruised regardless of the strong impact she got?

Hey I would take her to the emergency Department to have it checked out my mom fell down the stairs once hit her head on the skirting board it was swollen they did the check and said nothing to worry about but to check for symptoms like if she vomits more than three time bring her straight back and keep and eye out on severe headaches blurred vision. I would have it checked out by a medical professional.

She might have a concussion. If you are truly worried bring her to the hospital.

Any symptoms that reappear or new symptoms needs to be evaluated. Head injuries can cause complications at any time. Be safe and have her checked out. Best of luck.

I hit my head multiple times 2 days ago and now I feel a slight numbness to it. My head feels heavy.

I slipped on a watery floor 6 years ago and hit my head on the outside corner of the couch.. I was hurt but no bleeding so I rubbed it out and went to bed.. today my head is itchy at that spot and tender.. I still have a slight lump there where I hit it.. should I continue to feel like it is healing?

I hit my head couple months back. Had a bit of blood, but was fine. Up to now the spot that bled is now tender to the touch. Is that common, did you find out?

Hi, i slammed the corner of my car door onto the left side of the back of my head today. It was with force. I heard it crack and the pain shot right through the point of contact. I was fine immediately after. When i returned home I came over all dizzy and a little nausous, without vomitting. I have had a dull pain all day with off shots of sharp pain now and then. I can feel a slight dent where the car door hit my head and it is painful to touch, a very sharp pain when i touch. Do I wait and see how i feel or is it quite important to be seen

The exact same thing happened to me 2 days ago. I drove straight to my doctor and he said to put ice on it. I caked him today, 2 days later and he said if my headaches do not stop then I should see a neurologist. He said the sore spot on my head will last 2 months.

you heard it crack??
you should definitely get seen immediately because it seems a lot of damage has been done

I dropped my phone which is a bit heavy on my forehead and the area is bulged and painful. I am aware that this issue is negligible compared to all of the other's, but then im having headache on that part of my head for about 2 days. Is this something serious?

I hit my head under a staircase it was not super hard but it was pain it been more a year and a half since that happened and still there is a swollen part in my head I don't know y

I hit my head on concrete wall 3 months ago. And now i'm still suffering with head pressure/tightness especially whenever I touch my hair or press my scalp.

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