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The Short-Term Effects Of A Brain Injury | 24/7 Help

The short-term effects of a brain injury include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, loss of memory or cognitive function, and sensitivity to noise and light. These symptoms are common in concussions, one of the most common kinds of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

However, the symptoms may differ or be more severe in other kinds of brain injuries.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Symptoms of a mild brain injury like concussion usually appear shortly after the accident and disappear within a few days to a couple of weeks. Some of the most common symptoms may indicate a medical emergency or a more serious TBI.

The most common short-term effects include:


Headaches may be mild, moderate, or severe and can last for days or weeks. Some people with mild head injuries have headaches that last for months. If headaches persist after a 7 to 10-day period, patients may be suffering from post-concussion syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Nausea and vomiting can occur after a head injury but may be an indication of a serious complication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include repeated vomiting or nausea on their list of “danger signs” after a concussion that may indicate bleeding on the brain.

Fatigue or Drowsiness

Fatigue and drowsiness are among the most commonly-reported symptoms after a brain injury. For the most part, this is a normal consequence of your brain putting energy into healing, making you feel exhausted. However, it is possible that other side effects of a brain injury (such as Depression) can also cause fatigue.

Sensitivity to Noise and Light

This sensitivity can cause sleep disturbances, social life disruptions, and a serious dip in life enjoyment according to a study published in Quality of Life Research.

Not only can it feel like you’re under a barrage of painful stimuli when in a crowded room, but it can also make normally inaudible sounds unbearably annoying. As your brain heals primary damage from the injury, it can focus less of its energy on filtering noises and other stimuli. For mild TBI, this symptom should resolve in a few weeks or months.

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Dizziness or Vertigo

If you’ve had a brain injury, you may feel dizzy or vertiginous—like things are spinning around you. This feeling can be scary (and dangerous for those who are prone to falling), but it usually goes away within a few days or weeks. It helps to sit up or stand still when you have this sensation, so try not to move around too much, if possible.

Loss of Memory and Cognitive Function

Memory loss and difficulty processing information are more common in patients who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than other kinds of brain injury. Your doctor may recommend therapy to help improve these functions over time. Cognition issues for mild TBI usually resolve within a few months, but it can take years in more severe cases.

What if the Short-Term Effects of a Brain Injury Don’t Go Away?

If you’ve already received treatment for a brain injury and are still experiencing symptoms, it won’t hurt to keep your physician updated. At the least, your symptoms are persistent but not dangerous. However, they may advise you to come back for further tests.

If you got into an accident and are experiencing headaches, nausea, and dizziness but haven’t seen a doctor, you need to see one right away. You may need diagnostic exams and treatment to ensure it isn’t serious.

Money Troubles Can Make You Heal More Slowly

After a catastrophic injury like a brain injury, you may feel overwhelmed just trying to pay for medical attention and recover. While you are off work, other bills add up and put more stress on your shoulders. If you’re stressed about money, your body is paying the price.

Studies show that stress can slow your healing. One study published in Neuroimmunomodulation discusses how the effects of stress on the body directly inhibit healing processes.

Don’t let money worries set you back. A personal injury lawyer can handle your case, so you can focus on healing while they pursue compensation that can buy you time to recover and move forward after your injury.

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