When you drive or ride in a car, it is imperative to wear your seat belt. After all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proper seat belt usage reduces your probability of suffering a fatal injury in a car accident by as much as 45%.
While seat belts certainly save lives, they also can cause internal bleeding. Internal bleeding happens when blood vessels inside the body burst. Here are four common signs of internal bleeding after a car accident.
1. Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you have severe internal bleeding, you can expect your blood pressure to drop. Dizziness and lightheadedness, especially upon standing, are common symptoms of low blood pressure.
2. Gastrointestinal distress
Car accidents are naturally stressful, so you might expect to feel a bit queasy following a crash. If you experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues, though, you might have internal bleeding.
3. Weakness or loss of energy
To work properly, the muscles in your body must have a steady supply of oxygenated blood. Consequently, if you have internal bleeding, you might feel weak or lethargic.
4. Headaches or vision problems
Like your muscles, your brain and eyes require oxygenated blood. If your blood supply is running low because of internal bleeding, you may experience headaches and vision problems. Remember, pain medication is usually ineffective for headaches that come from internal bleeding.
Internal bleeding can be deadly, so you should not ignore your symptoms. Ultimately, rather than taking a wait-and-see approach, it is advisable to go to the emergency room for a complete evaluation.