Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – Imagine your personality, your day-to-day life and your awareness of the world—all damaged in an instant.

That’s the danger of a brain injury, and why March is a month to know the symptoms.

It can happen from traumatic causes like a car accident or a fall, or for non-traumatic reasons like a seizure.

If after one of those events you feel weak or numb on one side of your body, or have trouble walking and talking, get checked out as soon as you can.

Dr. Burkland with WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital says your doctor should know about anything more than a headache.

Time is of the essence with head injury, so people want to come sooner rather than later. And it doesn’t take long for a medical professional to just eyeball and have an idea of whether or not we’ve got something serious going on.

Dr. Carl David Burkland, Medical Director of Emergency Department

Make sure you’re extra vigilant if you take blood thinners.

Dr. Burkland says that puts you at especially high risk, even from a minor injury.

He adds that if you see a flash of light when you bump your head—your brain has been affected in some way.