Symptoms to Watch Out for After a Car Accident
Car accident injuries can take a while to show up, which means many accident victims do not seek medical help as early as they should. If you have been in a car crash, it is always best to go to a doctor as soon as possible. Should you decide to wait, make sure to look out for symptoms that could indicate a larger problem.
Delayed Car Accident Injuries and Their Symptoms
Many rear-end accident victims suffer whiplash due to the sudden jolt forward and then, saved by their seat belt, back into the seat. Whiplash is, essentially, a condition that affects the soft tissues in the neck.
Common symptoms that may indicate whiplash include:
- Muscle stiffness in the neck
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Numb hands and/or arms
- New or worsening headaches
- Vision problems
- Having trouble focusing
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
A mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, may be sustained in a car crash. These injuries are the result of the brain slamming against the skull, such as due to the force of the impact caused by two vehicles colliding.
Concussions are an example of why you should not wait to go to the doctor. Their symptoms may not be apparent for days or weeks after the crash, which means concussions are often left alone to worsen. The longer you wait to treat a concussion, the harder and longer the path to recovery will be.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) separates concussion symptoms into two categories—those reported by the person with the concussion and those observed by others:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Feeling down or not right
- Feeling fatigued or groggy
- Balance problems, or clumsiness
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Having trouble remembering things or following directions
The force of a car crash may also result in internal organ damage, internal bleeding, or other such injuries. Again, if left untreated, these conditions could worsen.
Some symptoms of internal organ damage to look out for include:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark bruises
- Feeling faint or fainting
- Disrupted bowel movements, such as diarrhea or constipation
If you have found yourself experiencing any of the above symptoms, or experiencing new or worsening health problems, don’t wait to seek medical help.
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