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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

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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.

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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

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Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that results in sudden onset of neurological symptoms that resolve spontaneously over a varying period of time.

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