The Link Between Head Injuries and Vomiting, and How to Find Relief

Head injuries can be scary and overwhelming, especially if accompanied by vomiting. Not only does it add a layer of worry, but it can also be a sign of a more serious issue. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about vomiting after a head injury - what it means, what could be causing it, and, most importantly, how to treat it.

So, if you or someone you know has experienced vomiting after a head injury, keep reading to equip yourself with the knowledge and understanding to handle it effectively.

What is a head injury?

A head injury refers to any trauma to the head that can cause damage to the brain. It can range from mild injuries like bumps and bruises to severe and life-threatening ones. Injuries to the head can occur due to various reasons, such as falls, accidents, or sports-related activities. Head injuries and physical harm can also result in cognitive and behavioral complications, including nausea and vomiting.

Understanding the link between head injuries and vomiting

The brain controls all bodily functions, including digestion and physical movement. Therefore, any damage to the brain can lead to a disruption in these functions. After a head injury, the body may struggle to regulate the digestive system, leading to symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. Additionally, head injuries can also cause changes in the balance and coordination of the body, making it difficult for patients to control their muscle movements, further contributing to vomiting.

Causes of vomiting after a traumatic head injury

Head injuries can occur in various forms - from a simple bump on the head to a severe traumatic brain injury. Along with common symptoms like headache and dizziness, vomiting is common after a head injury. While it may be a natural response to trauma, prolonged and severe vomiting can indicate a more serious condition. 

Here are the top five causes of vomiting after a head injury and what you need to know to ensure proper treatment and recovery:

  1. Concussion

A concussion is one of the most common causes of vomiting after a head injury. Trauma occurs when a person experiences a forceful blow to the head, causing the brain to rush within the skull. This movement can damage brain cells and disrupt the brain's normal functioning, leading to vomiting. The fluid buildup in the brain can also trigger nausea and vomiting.

  1. Intracranial hemorrhage

Intracranial hemorrhage, also known as bleeding inside the skull, is another significant cause of vomiting after a head injury. A blood vessel rupture in the brain can pressure the surrounding tissues, causing symptoms like headache, blurred vision, and vomiting. Intracranial hemorrhage can have severe consequences and even be life-threatening if left untreated.

  1. Meningitis

Sometimes, vomiting after a head injury may be a sign of meningitis. Meningitis is a severe infection that causes inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. If the head injury has exposed the skull, it can make it easier for bacteria or viruses to enter the brain and cause infection, leading to vomiting, fever, and confusion.

  1. Post-traumatic headache

Headaches are a common symptom after a head injury and can also trigger vomiting. When the impact of a head injury causes swelling or inflammation in the tissues surrounding the brain, it can put pressure on the nerves, causing a headache. This type of headache, known as post-traumatic headache, can last for weeks or even months after the injury and can be accompanied by vomiting.

  1. Motion sickness

Depending on the location and severity of the head injury, it can also damage the vestibular system - the part of the inner ear that helps with balance and coordination. This damage can lead to symptoms like dizziness, vertigo, and nausea, typical symptoms of motion sickness. If the injury affects the vestibular system, it can trigger vomiting as the body tries to rid itself of the perceived toxins.

Impact of traumatic head injury on the brain

Traumatic head injuries, or concussions, are common in today's fast-paced and physically demanding world. While most people may think of them as a temporary inconvenience, the reality is that these injuries can have long-lasting and devastating effects on the brain.

The brain is the control center of our entire body, responsible for our thoughts, emotions, and movements. Any damage to this complex organ can have far-reaching consequences. When it comes to traumatic head injuries, the brain is particularly vulnerable due to its soft and delicate nature.

The impact of traumatic head injuries on the brain cannot be underestimated. Not only does it physically damage brain tissue, but it can also disrupt the brain's communication network, leading to a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes. These changes can profoundly impact a person's life, affecting their ability to work, socialize, and carry out everyday tasks.

A traumatic head injury can manifest in various ways, from memory loss and poor concentration to mood swings and difficulty processing information. Unfortunately, these effects can last for months or even years, significantly impacting a person's quality of life. It's not just athletes and soldiers at risk of traumatic head injuries; accidents, falls, and physical assaults can also cause them. 

This silent epidemic is often overlooked, but it's essential to understand its consequences and take necessary precautions to prevent it. By raising awareness and implementing proper prevention measures, we can minimize the devastating effects of these injuries on individuals, families, and communities. Remember, protecting our brains also means protecting our futures.

Treatment options for vomiting after a traumatic head injury

Here are some of the most influential and well-researched treatment options for vomiting after a traumatic head injury.

  1. Anti-nausea medication

Anti-nausea medication is one of the most common ways to treat vomiting after a traumatic head injury. These medications work by blocking the signals that trigger nausea in the brain. They can come in pills, injections, or suppositories and are typically prescribed by a healthcare professional.

  1. Fluid and electrolyte replacement

Vomiting can cause dehydration, worsening other symptoms and delaying the healing process. Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes through drinking water and other liquids, such as sports drinks, is essential to combat this. In more severe cases, intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary to replenish the body's electrolyte levels.

  1. Oxygen therapy

Sometimes, vomiting may result from a lack of oxygen to the brain, causing nausea and other symptoms. In these cases, oxygen therapy can be an effective treatment option. This involves administering oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula to improve oxygen levels and alleviate symptoms.

  1. Dietary changes

Changing your diet can significantly manage vomiting after a traumatic head injury. Certain foods and drinks, such as greasy or spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine, can worsen nausea and vomiting. Sticking to bland, easy-to-digest foods and staying hydrated is essential to minimize the chances of vomiting.

  1. Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation plays a crucial role in recovering after a traumatic head injury. Depending on the individual's specific needs, this may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy. These post-acute rehabilitation and therapies help regain strength, coordination, and cognitive function, improving overall well-being and potentially reducing vomiting episodes.

In addition to these treatment options, monitoring symptoms closely and seeking medical attention if vomiting persists or other concerning symptoms arise is essential. Recovery from a traumatic head injury is a gradual process and may require a combination of treatments. 

Individuals may respond differently to these treatments, so working closely with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action is essential. With proper care and treatment, individuals can recover from their head injury and resume an everyday, healthy life.

Take care of your brain health with NeuLife Rehabilitation

Seeking comprehensive and expert care for post-head injury vomiting? Look no further. NeuLife Rehabilitation, one of Florida’s best brain injury rehabilitation centers, offers specialized treatment and support for those experiencing this often overlooked symptom. 

Our dedicated team of specialists at a neuro-rehabilitation center will evaluate your unique needs and tailor a personalized rehabilitation plan to help you overcome vomiting and other lingering effects of a head injury. Want to visit NeuLife Rehabilitation? Schedule a tour today! 

Don't let this potentially dangerous and debilitating symptom go untreated – contact NeuLife Rehabilitation today and take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future.


The material on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
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