Symptoms of a subdural haematoma 

The symptoms of a subdural haematoma can develop soon after a severe head injury, or gradually over days or weeks after a more minor head injury.

Sometimes you may not remember hitting your head at all.

Symptoms of a subdural haematoma can include:

  • headache that keeps getting worse
  • feeling and being sick
  • confusion
  • personality changes, such as being unusually aggressive or having rapid mood swings
  • feeling drowsy and finding it difficult to keep your eyes open
  • speech problems, such as slurred speech
  • problems with your vision, such as double vision
  • paralysis (loss of movement) on one side of the body
  • problems walking and frequent falls
  • seizures (fits)
  • loss of consciousness

These symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions, such as strokes, infections or dementia.

What to do

You should always seek emergency medical treatment after a severe head injury. Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department, or dial 999 to request an ambulance.

If you develop the symptoms above any time after a minor head injury, or if you don't remember hitting your head, you should also go to your nearest A&E department or call 999 for an ambulance as soon as possible.

A subdural haematoma can be very serious and needs to be assessed as quickly as possible. Read more about diagnosing subdural haematomas.

Page last reviewed: 15/06/2015

Next review due: 15/06/2017