Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Head injury symptoms

Head injuries range in seriousness from very minor to life-threatening.

If you have a fit or seizure or fall unconscious, even if its only for a second, you should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

If you are bleeding and it won’t stop, or if you have fluid coming from your nose or ears, you should go to your nearest emergency department immediately.

Even with a minor head injury, you can:

  • get a bump or bruise
  • feel sick
  • get a mild headache
  • become slightly dizzy.

The signs and symptoms of a serious head injury are:

  • losing consciousness
  • having a seizure
  • bleeding from the head
  • having fluid come from the nose or ears
  • vomiting
  • have trouble seeing, hearing or speaking properly
  • having a headache which is getting worse or won’t go away
  • having difficulty seeing or hearing
  • being confused or acting strangely
  • having difficulty staying awake
  • having pupils which are a different size to each other
  • losing your balance or feeling dizzy
  • losing your memory.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your head injury, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 175 results

Head Injury

Read more on Queensland Health website

Children and head injuries

A head injury or head trauma happens when the brain is swollen, torn, stretched, shaken, compressed, bruised or pierced. Read our page to find what you should do if you think your child has had a head injury.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Minor Head Injury in Children

Read more on Queensland Health website

Concussion and mild head injury | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Brain Foundation | Concussion

Concussion Concussion (See also Acquired Brain Injury) Description Concussion is used to describe a minor head injury that is not usually life-threatening

Read more on Brain Foundation website


The majority of head injuries are minor and scans are not required. However, it is important that you have someone at home with you for the next 24 hours in case you feel unwell.

Read more on WA Health website

Brain Foundation | Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury Acquired Brain Injury (Brain Injury, Head Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI) Description Brain injury includes a complex group of medical and surgical problems that are caused by trauma to the head

Read more on Brain Foundation website

Concussion | Kids Health

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Kids' Health - Topics - Epilepsy - having 'fits'

Sometimes people can have seizures, (many people would call them 'fits') because they have a high fever or have had a head injury. Another name for a seizure is a convulsion (say con-vul-shun).

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Osmolality - Lab Tests Online AU

When a patient cannot produce concentrated urine, particularly following a head injury; when Diabetes Insipidus is suspected; when symptoms of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion are present; when an explanation of a low serum sodium is being sought

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo