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:

  • Cognitive issues, including memory and concentration
  • Sleep issues, including too much or too little sleep, drowsiness, and difficulty falling asleep
  • Physical issues, including headaches, decreased balance, dizziness, impaired vision, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise
  • Emotional issues, including irritability, sadness, and nervousness

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 (161)

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 hit my head when I bent over to sweep floor.I took ibuprofen 2 200mg each.i put ice on it,is this all good.

I just wanted to comment on the number of people asking for advice when it specifically says they are NOT able to give medical advice

Hi, im 60 yr old female I fell full force on the sidewalk, I immediately threw up as I lay there I had large blood clots falling from my battered nose and a huge egg on the right side of my forehead, I threw up again when I got in the house and had the WORSE headache ever! The next morning my eye swelled shut and BLk/Blu, I iced all day the 2nd morning I had 2 swelled shut eyes blk /blu, I stayed very nauseated for almost a week and a half, as well as severely light-headed my nose, bled for days! I'm finally feeling better EXCEPT now I am suffering from. Short term memory loss, should I be worried, will my short term memory return? I admit I am very worried something is not right

I hit my forehead on my room floor on Sunday and 2 days later my eyes are swelling im concern about my head what do this means

Two days ago, a heavy broom fell on my head from a high shelf, there is a small red mark, but I have a horrible headache, don’t really want to go in those big machines. Do I go to the doctor?

I hit the back of my head 2 weeks ago the swelling was really bad but it has gone down a very lot I've just got a small swelling but it still hurts

Friday night I tripped over the shower ledge and hit the back of my head in the toilet. My butt and back caught most of my fall but today’s Monday my head seems really “foggy” and heavy. I am also very tired. I called the doctor she said to come in in about two days if I don’t get better. Should I go sooner?

My mom hit her head really hard against the wall playing. What should I do? When can we stop worrying?

I was going down a hill really fast on a skateboard and I hit a bumb it launched the skateboard from under me and I slammed the back of my head extremely hard I dont really remember much of the past hour

I hit my head pretty hard on a wall about 6 months ago. Up until now, I can still feel mild to moderate pain on that area. The pain feels like something is pushing to my head from the inside. Will it go away after a few more months?

Same as above only been 7 months.
Would botox help I have every test done? 3 ct scans 1 MRI neurologist testing.
Will it ever go away

Hi I just fell off a chair. I hit the sharp corner hard in back of head also my lower back. I ha a huge egg shape knot in back of head. I have ice pack. But I have a headache and burns alittle at lump. I'm 63 what should I do. Ty. marcella

Hi I hit the back of my head left side upper when I was bending down to pick up paper from under the chairs. I tried reaching it and went back and hit my head on the pointy comer part of the counter.

hi there I banged heads with my son on our foreheads but it hurts on top of my head that was sunday it didn't hurt on Monday only started Tuesday and all ive done is sleep and its sore

Hello Doctor I hit my head quite hard yesterday while jumping and now it's sore but not as sore as it was yesterday. The back of my head is sore and the middle is a bit sore.

HI dr my toddler hit her head in the shower.. It was very swolen and now it Come down.. There is a small cut. Because se hit the side of the corner in the shower sould i be warryed... She is stil awake after a hour.

Hit the back left top of my head hard on the corner of the trunk lid of my car, didn't break the skin, no bump, it was 7 days ago and still have sharp shooting pains, should I worry..?

Definitely

On 17th May I hit my right side head in wall and after that I got BPPV with which everything was spinning. The giddiness is comparatively lower as I am doing Vestibular exercise but I am facing different sensation of headache on and off. Is something serious happened to me ?

Hello I hit my left forehead on an iron gate for about 8 months now , I no longer feel pains but the bump is still there , what should I do to get rid of it ?

I got hit in the head with the stripper pole I had pain when it first happen how long should I wait to go sleep and should i go fiber

I bumped my head nearly 3 months ago went a e had a hematoma doctor pierced it said it was fine no headaches felt fine gone down now but now I'm getting floaters and cobweb like threads in one eye s what should I do

Get to a good optometrist and have them dialate your eye. Floaters are a sign of retina problems that can be helped but not if you wait.

I'd suggest a retina specialist

Hey I recently fell off of a dirt. Ike and hit my head without a helmet on I said no to a ct scan bc I feel absolutely fine but now I’m worrying more than ever. (Still in the er as of writing this)

Hello, about a week ago i fainted and hit my head and got a really bad goose egg which went down after 24hours, my head still hurts and there's a lot of bruising kind of pain around the area where the big bump was and a part is slightly raised and another is kind of sunken in, should i be concerned?

Yes definitely

I got a hit on my left forehead and it was bumped . But that whole day I was with headache . This is night 2.44 in india . Still I couldn't able to sleep its paining severely in y head and when I lied on bed it is severe... from Bangalore, india

I tripped and fell and hit my head on my hardwood floors. I have a huge bump and two very large black eyes. I had a cat scan and they said no fractures or bleeding but my face is a mess and I have headaches. Should I go back to the ER? This happened three days ago.

Hi my left side of head near to hair crown got hit hard yesterday by hard stone shelf.. There is a big bump there.. Pains when I lay down on that side or touch there... Would this go away? Is it serious damage internally... Please help

Hi,
I hit the top of my head last night from the corner poll of my bed frame while trying yo move around. My head really hurt and it has bump a bit so I roll Bio Freeze to feel better. The following day the bump was gone but my head still painful where it was hit. thanks.

I hit my head on the wall really hard on the wall and it hurts a lot should I go to the hospital?

I hit my head on concrete 3 times I passed out while walking outside I didn’t know I was pregnant and it’s funny it was the same spot I don’t know if it could mess with my sinuses or if it’s jus pain ion get headaches jus the pain in the spot it feels liquidy in my head idk

Earlier today I was riding my skateboard and I tripped on a rock and my board when out from beneath me and I landed on my head and it’s now night time and I’m still feeling the same pain as if it just happend

I hit my head a few minutes ago just a tab not exactly at the front of the head a slight away from my forehead should I worry.

Wow, I've actually done the same thing today!! I sneezed as I was trying to avoid the door frame but I manage to sneeze the corner of my forehead right into it - big ouch.
I hope you're going ok, apply an ice-pack but if symptoms begin or get worse, please call up your local doctor or even better - the ambulance. Also, if it was 'a bit' to 'quite a hard hit', it's best to get it checked out just to see if your brain is all ok. Kind regards and take care :)

I fell backwards two days ago and hit the back of my head so hard that it bled a little. I don't have a headache, but, today my forehead is a bit swelled and bruised. I didn't hit there.

I fell and hit the right side of my face and now my face is crooked i fet weird pain in my head like a burning stingy sensation my right nostril is numb what do I do thank you

Hi there, I highly advise that you go to the doctors, I understand that the Corona Virus is out at the moment but you getting assistance is imperative, especially if you have symptoms to that severity. If ever you experience pains like that after an injury it really needs to get checked out. God bless, and I hope you get better soon.
P.S. If you don't wish to go to the doctors but the symptoms are still there, please call an ambulance and ask for advice about it. There's a high chance you could have a concussion and therefore you probably need a CAT/MRI scan (sorry I can't remember which one it was called when I got my head scanned) - this tells the Dr's whether your brain is internal bleeding or if something has gone wrong. I hope all is well, stay safe and take care.

Hello I was out last friday last and I fall and hurt my side of my head and I am just getting pains in my head should I be worried??

I was in my restroom just now and when I bent down to grab something I hit my forehead so hard on the corner of my sink counter and I thought u was gonna a
Die because of bleeding in the head but it hurts so bad idk hopefully I’ll be okay.

3 days i had ski doo accident with out wearing helmets.. My bf was driving very fast and he wanted to go right and i think skidoo flip.. I feel like i dont remember what happened.. I remember i hit my head really hard then i open my eyes my bf was holding me.. Says after we fell he went to get me right away. Since then i been having heavy headaches and still have bump and swollen. Is this dangerous?

One year ago today, I hit the back of my head (occipital bone) really hard on a shelf... and till this day it hurts to lay or put pressure on this area. I have had two MRIs and a CT scan- all came back negative and clear. Every since the hit to me head , I have also been dealing with severe anxiety, head tingling, and vision issues. Summer of last year, I asked my neurologist if I could have occipital neuralgia and the only way to test it is a nerve block. Well, the nerve block worked.. temporarily. But fast forward now... the only thing I really want to figure out is what is wrong with my head? It’s been a year, and I still can’t lay down or put pressure on my head without it feeling tender or pulsing. Is this a blood vessel or nerve issue? Will this resolve on its own? Is this PCS? Thank you!

I fell and smacked my face on the wood floor at home...that was about a month ago. I had a really bad black eye from it. Well, anyways I have a knot right on and above my eyebrow that hasnt gone away. It feels hard and hurts sometimes like lightening bolt pains kinda. No insurance. Not sure if it's bad or not. Can anyone help?

i am 54 female, in sept 2019 I fell and hit my head plus dislocated my arm. an ambulance took me to e.r. and they set my arm/shoulder but did not check my head. I have a dent in my head and 2 to 3 times a day I get small headaches. I do not have insurance and the fall cost me a lot of money. should I be worried about my head, will it eventually stop hurting.

I hit my head on a cylindrical hard wood today accidentally. there is no bleeding but my neck feels very stiff and hurts. will i be fine?

That happened to me yesterday! Are you okay now?

Someone pushed my head into a brick wall

I had an accident a week back and hit my head. There is a bump in my head which is hurting. Do i need to consult a doctor?

I fell over 3 weeks ago and had a huge goose egg on the side of my head is swelling finally went away but my head is still so very sore even to comb my hair it hurts. Should I go to the hospital to have this checked out? Also how long will this area on my head hurt

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