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 (258)

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 was closing a car door and it hit my head,there's no bruises but it's hurting

I hit my head about 6 weeks ago. After getting to drink. My head swelled like I had never seen anything like it. After 6 weeks it’s still sooo sensitive to touch Evan slightly. I had no scan and was sent home. Any advice please x

Hi I got headbutted 3 days ago and a bump and bruise appeared after a while with a headache. But I’ve had this constant headache for the past three days, is this concerning?

I fell off a horse and was knocked out for a few minutes with a little hole in the back of my head (kind of high up, to the left). My eyeglass Rx had been 100/60 x 100/20 for about 20yrs prior to this. About a year later, the big E on the eye chart was blurry in both eyes. So check yourself every six months. Monthly for a child.

Hi. 2 days ago I bent down and had a hard bang of a car door hit me in the side of my head, still feel sick, and a banging headache dent go to A&E cause of waiting time at the minute should I worry

Hi there
Just coming down from my attic pushing up the second bit of ladder hadn't done it properly and it flew down on my side of head behind ear. Painful to touch and painful to yawn. Any ideas please. Should I just let it settle. Thankyou in advance.

I was walking in the kitchen and slipped and hit my left front side of my head on the ceramic tile floor. However I have a cut overtopped of my eye brow and I’m tired all the time now! What should I do?

CALL YOUR DOCTOR!!!! It says in the fine print.

"Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor"

I fell and hit the back of my head on Thursday on concrete , Have been dizzy off and on no LOC. I am on Xerelta for afib and Metoprolol, I have had 2 cardio converaions this year and have been in normal sinus rthym. Woke up today with a black eye. The back of my head the lump is getting smaller with the swelling/using ice packs. Why did I get the black eye?

Okay I hit my whole forehead very hard since then I don't have a migrane but my head feels numb and tingly and I have been getting nose bleeds in the morning. Not to mention I am stressed because I have to deal with selling my house.

I was sleeping and just 1 or 2feet above a 1.5litre water filled plastic bottle was placed.. it suddenly fell on my head on the right side of my brain.. is it dangerous? When should I go see a dr?

Hi, a phone got thrown at my head hitting my temple. There was a small bump on it and 4 days later it is still sensitive to touch. On the plane journey home the day after it happened I got a severely sharp headache at the front of my head but it hasn’t happened since. Should I just leave it?

I banged the back of my head on a bed side locker a month ago it is still sore

I am 17 years old.
I got a mild hit by small door (on passing through it) on my head and after a month it starts mild pain on the area.
What can I do?

If you don’t have any other symptoms, you should be fine. I’m not a medical professional and you are your best judge (:

I hit my head on the corner of my dresser 2 days ago the back of my head has a big lump
Headaches blurred vision sore neck i cant sleep properly speech a little slurred

bro go see a doctor that is serious

You have signs of brain injury. Go to the hospital ASAP.

Please if you are still alive go to the hospital right now. Stop everything and go. You have a fracture in your skull, brain bleeding, and a lot of other things that can kill you at any minute. Please I urge you to go.

I hit my head Snowboarding 2 days ago face first I was wearing a helmet my goggles pressed into my sinuses, then I started having a headache on my left side the headache comes and goes with the help of ibuprofen. I do not have any symptoms of a concussion should I worry?

I hit my head at a game, felt dead for a while and felt like my entire head was shattered. I got up and went in for the next tackle. Get up and walk it off.no hard feelings, just there is nothing else you can do ;)

I hit my head on the trunk lid and I actually saw stars..that was 6 hours ago and I have a pain in back of my head....aches behind my eyes. And ears are ringing. I'm getting sleepy because I need to go to sleep, I'm up early. This has me scared because of what just happened to Bob Sagget.

I fell and bang my head on a hard wood floor from a standing position. I went to the ER bad head contusion. No bleeding in brain from CT. It's been 3 months I still have a pea size bump there but it hurts to lay on that side still and now I have pressure behind my left eye on the same side where bump is. Is this normal?

This happened just recently. I got into an accident, the vehicle I'm riding slipped, my father was the driver. I fell and hit my head badly on the concrete. That time I was dumbfounded with what just happened. My head hurts a lot, I vomit when I arrived at home, I feel dizzy and sensitive to light, I have problems sleeping, I can feel the pressure in my head and I experience daze moments a lot. Am I fine? looks like my parents dont have a plan on bringing me to the hospital for a checkup. :)

I had a head injury a few days ago, but not as serious as yours. My doctor as well as the nurse hotline insist I go to the emergency room for a CT scan.

Based on this, it seems like you should definitely be seen by a doctor. Can't you go to the hospital or emergency room by yourself, if they don't take you?
They probably don't realize how serious and dangerous it is.

u should see a doctor!!

Please Dr. My forehead hit edge of a window a weeks ago. I will be feeling mild pain around that particular part of my head and the ear when l sleep. Any advice

I got elbow in the head by accident and from then on i feel like I’m gonna pass out. (This lasted like a day). Is it serious?

When I was at work I was supposed to clean the kids area and there were tight spaces I had to cross ..I hit my head on a black pipe thing and my gosh it hurted so dam bad .. after that happened I went on with my day until I felt a bump on my head and my neck .. starting to get worry but it's so painful

Five months ago I did something that completely changed my life in a negative way and I regret it but I can not change the past but only learn to accept and live with it. Me and my girlfriend went to a river damn that people could slide down for fun it was a really sketchy looking place and I slid down it multiple times probably about 4 times and it was really steep and about a 40 ft drop in length until you would hit the water and my stupid self not thinking about consequences but rather living in the moment just kept sliding down and slamming my face first into the water when I should have been letting my legs and feet take the impact first when hitting the water well anyways about an hour later we left and I started to lose hearing in my left ear and a lot of pressure was building up in my left ear to the point where every thing sounded so muffled like echos. My head was starting to feel like a water balloon that was just growing bigger and was about to explode. I started to feel dizzy and very mentally tired. When we got home I told my girlfriend that I just needed to sleep immideiatly because I felt so mentally exhausted like I couldn't think and my head just felt like it was going to explode and everything sounded muffled. I was really scared that night so I had my girlfriend sleep with me and she said I kept telling her through out the night "I don't want to die yet I'm not ready" but I dont really remember. I woke up in the morning and felt completely different like a different person I didnt feel like me. I dealt with severe anxiety,ear pain, ear pressure,head pressure, muffled hearing, extreme fatigue, dizziness, balance issues for two weeks straight after the injury. Thankfully after two weeks my hearing was back to normal and the head pressure went away. But for the next 3 months straight I went throught extreme depression/anxiety, social isolation, panic attacks,crying frequently,breathing issues that would last for weeks straight at a time and would even happen during my sleep and wake me at night gasping for air. I also dealt with sensitivity to light and loud noises, and frequent irregular heart beats. I made probably over 25 ER visits over a 3 month time period getting MRI's and CT scans just to be told nothing is wrong with me and that I am just dealing with post concussion syndrome and esr infections causing my ear pain.... During the 3 months symptom would always come and go like balance problems would last a few days then go away, breathing issues would last days or weeks then go away and come back. Sensitivity to light would always come and go. One of my main symptoms after my head injury that freaked me out was how I could feel how my brain was mentally exhausted and could not process things like it used to. I couldn't handle being in large crowds anymore and I struggled to watch movies or even pay attention. My focus was so weak now and I always felt like my head needed a break. I remember I couldnt even play chess with my girlfriend I told her I had to stop because I felt so confused like my brain did not want to have to work. Trying to think would give me bad brain fog. I never had any memory loss although I remember during the first months of recovery my brain struggled to vision things and imagine things and create images even though I never lost my memory. Basically my brain just really sucked at focusing and concentrating. I went to the doctors so many times that they finally started trying to point me towards psychiatry and I got diagnosed with bi polar somehow. I took the medication only for like a week then stopped because it was making things worse and I knew I wasnt having a mental disorder I knew it was my head injury. After 4 months my breathing issues started to go away and my brain didnt really feel exauhsted anymore and never really had that problem again and my anxiety kind of went away and I was having less panic attacks but I was still dealing with sensitivity to light and loud noises and deep inner ear pain and ear pressure. I was finally referred to an ENT specialist who said I must have damaged my inner ear from the fall but he does not know what is damaged and he says I was dealing with post concussion syndrome. Currently right now it has been about 5 and a half months since my injury and my sensitivity to light and loud noises went away and almost all of my anxiety but a little still remains in my every day life I've finally managed to get a job again. I've been working for 1 month straight at tractor supply co and I'm going to start electrician school in 1 week thats going to be a seven month course. After 5 months my only remaining every day symptoms is bad inner ear pain and dizziness from the ear pain and anxiety. I dont know what the hell I happened to my left ear when I hit my head that day but ever since then my ear has hurt everysingle day and it fills with pressure every single day and if I pinch my nose and blow it makes a loud squeaky pressure noise and let's out a lot of air and this problems doesnt seem to be getting better at all. So I will admitt that during these 5 months I have recovered from something's like severe anxiety, muffeled hearing, head pressure. Sensitivity to light and noise, brain fog and mental exhaustion but something I still deal with every day is my esr problem and it causes dizziness and nausea every day for me and I dont know if my inner ear problem will ever go away. Oh and sorry I repeat my self a lot.

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?

I fell to the ground and hit my head with a wooden wall and i fell very tired and sleepy should I be worried or not cuz it's making me drowsy.

Squishy can be bad. Go see a Dr

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.

I fell backwards and hit my head on the door knob. No wierd stuff going on except head hurts.

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

Are you okay now,? same thing happened to me, bumped my head have intermittent headache and acid reflux.

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