Head Injuries

What are Head Injuries?

Head injuries, known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in Singapore, occur when there is a sudden blow or impact to areas of the head such as the skull, scalp, brain, blood vessels, and other soft tissues. These injuries can vary in severity, ranging from mild concussions to more severe cases that lead to lasting cognitive or physical impairments.

There are two categories of head injuries, these are:

  • Closed head injury: head injury that does not break your skull and does not cause any penetrating injury to your brain. Examples include concussions and intracranial haematoma.
  • Open head injury: head injury that breaks your skull, exposes your brain, and may cause penetrating injury to your brain. Examples include skull fractures.
head injury
Head injuries can be categorised into closed-head injuries or open-head injuries.

What causes Head Injuries?

Head injuries can result from various causes, often involving sudden and forceful impacts to the head. You may face these injuries in car accidents, falls, contact sports or even physical altercations. When you experience a fall or collision, your head can undergo abrupt movement, causing your brain to jolt within your skull. This movement can lead to bruising of brain tissues, internal bleeding or swelling. These are collectively known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Engaging in activities without proper protective gear, such as helmets, increases your vulnerability to head injuries. Additionally, environments where safety precautions are not maintained heighten the risk.

What are the symptoms of Head Injury?

Depending on the type of head injury, symptoms will vary. However, general signs of head injury include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Memory-related issues
  • Changes in mood
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Balance-related issues
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech

If you notice any of the symptoms stated above after experiencing any forceful impact on your head, seek medical attention and make an appointment with us today.

Are Head Injuries painful?

Yes, head injuries are typically accompanied by pain, but the level of pain varies based on the severity and type of injury. For instance, mild head injuries such as a minor bump may cause a brief, tolerable headache, or discomfort at the point of impact. However, more serious head injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can lead to more intense and persistent pain.

In addition to physical pain, head injuries can cause other sensations such as dizziness, pressure, or throbbing in the head. It is important to note that pain may not always be the most prominent symptom, and some head injuries can present with other signs, such as confusion, memory problems, or mood changes.

Head injuries result from external impact that is sudden and forceful.

Who is at risk of Head Injuries in Singapore?

In Singapore, various factors contribute to the risk of head injuries; these are:

  • Age groups: young children and the elderly are more vulnerable to head injuries due to decreased balance and potential for falls.
  • Sports activities: engaging in contact sports or activities without proper protective gear increases the risk of head injuries.
  • Traffic accidents: motor vehicle accidents increase the risk of head injuries, especially when not using seatbelts or helmets.
  • Workplace hazards: certain occupations (such as construction or manual labour) are more risky due to potential accidents.
  • Falls: accidental falls, whether at home, in public spaces or on slippery surfaces, are a common cause of head injuries.
  • Recreational activities: activities such as cycling, skateboarding, or rollerblading without helmets pose risks.
  • Violence: physical altercations or assaults can result in head injuries.
old man head injury
The elderly are more prone to head injuries due to decreased balance and potential for falls.
MRI brain
Brain injuries are assessed using CT scans or MRIs.

How are Head Injuries diagnosed?

When you experience a head injury, your neurosurgeon (link to about us) will typically diagnose the condition through a combination of methods, these are:

  • Medical evaluation: your neurosurgeon will assess your symptoms, the circumstances of the injury, and your medical history.
  • Neurological examination: this involves testing your reflexes, coordination, balance, and sensory responses to check for any abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests: imaging tests such as computed tomography scans (CT scans) (link to service page) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (link to service page), which provide detailed images of your brain’s structures to identify any internal damage, bleeding, or swelling.
  • Glasgow coma scale: in severe cases of head injuries, the Glasgow coma scale is used to assess the level of consciousness and neurological function.
  • Observation: in some cases, minor head injuries require observation over time to monitor and ensure they do not worsen.
  • Cognitive assessment: for more severe injuries, cognitive tests may be conducted to evaluate memory, thinking, and reasoning abilities.

What are the treatment options for Head Injuries in Singapore?

In Singapore, the treatment options for head injuries are tailored to the severity of the injury you have experienced. The common approach for mild head injuries, which may involve minor bumps or bruises, is rest and observation. This means allowing your body time to recover while keeping an eye on any developing symptoms naturally.

In cases where the head injury is causing moderate to severe symptoms, you may require medical attention and possibly hospitalisation. Medical professionals will closely monitor your condition, especially if there is noticeable swelling or bleeding in the brain. Depending on the extent of the injury, surgery may be recommended to alleviate pressure on the brain or to address fractures and other structural issues.

Medications such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to manage pain and discomfort. Following the acute phase of treatment, rehabilitation programs could be suggested to assist you in regaining lost skills and adapting to any lasting symptoms. The treatment approach at Chou Neuroscience Clinic is well-structured and effective, ensuring that you receive appropriate care based on the specific nature of your head injury. It is essential to adhere to the advice of medical experts for a smooth recovery.

Frequently asked questions  

When should I seek medical help for a head injury?

You should seek immediate medical help if you experience persistent headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, vomiting, or loss of consciousness after a head injury. It is important to prioritise your health and get a proper evaluation.

Are all head injuries serious?

Not all head injuries are serious, but it is essential to take them seriously. Even seemingly minor injuries can have hidden complications, so seeking medical evaluation is crucial.

Are there any long-term effects of head injuries?

Yes, head injuries can have long-term effects. Depending on the severity, you may experience cognitive difficulties, emotional changes, persistent headaches or even lasting physical impairments. Seeking appropriate medical care is important for proper management.

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Copyright © 2023 Chou Neuroscience Clinic. All Rights Reserved