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Cranial Nerve Damage Caused by Head Trauma from Car Accidents

The human body contains a total of 12 cranial nerves. Cranial nerves emerge from the stem or the base of the brain and travel through various areas of the head and face. The cranial nerves carry out vital tasks from producing sensations and guiding facial movements, to triggering protective reflexes.

The cranial nerves are ill-protected when exposed to head trauma due to the fact that the majority of them travel across the surface of the skull and are only shielded by the tissues and muscles of the face. Shearing, penetrating and scraping injuries have the ability to rupture, cut, or stretch across a cranial nerve. Broken skull and facial bones could also impair or fully destroy the cranial nerves. The impact of cranial nerve injury could be permanent or it could be temporary, based on the type of injury sustained.

Cranial Nerve Functions

Because the cranial nerves govern perceptible actions like moving your eyes, smiling and chewing, any injury will be both felt and seen when the affiliated purpose of the nerve is changed. Listed below are the functions of the 12 cranial nerves, and what you could lose if the nerve was to be damaged:

Cranial Nerve Damage Caused by Head Trauma From Car Accidents

I Olfactory: Produces a sense of smell.

II Optic: Relays visual data from your eye to your brain.

III Oculomotor: Governs various movements of your eyelids and your eyes. It also controls your pupil size as a reaction to light.

IV Trochlear: Manages the movement of your eyes when they go in a downward direction or inward toward your nose.

V Trigeminal: Delivers the sensation of touch to your face. It also is in control of the muscles you use for chewing 

VI Abducens: Is in control of the horizontal movements of your eye.

VII Facial: Controls the muscles that help to produce facial expressions. It also gives the sensation of taste to the front two-thirds of your tongue.

VIII Auditory-Vestibular: It offers the sense of hearing, and also transmits data regarding your body’s position in space to your brain.

IX Glossopharyngeal: Serves to control the muscles in the throat, the salivary glands, and produces taste information from the back third of your tongue. It also perceives fluctuations in your blood pressure and relays that information to your brain so that it may respond accordingly.

X Vagus: This manages your abdominal organs, lungs, and heart.

XI Spinal Accessory: It oversees the muscles in your neck and throat.

XII Hypoglossal: This moves your tongue and makes speaking possible

It is abundantly obvious that these cranial nerves mitigate the indispensable undertakings of the neck, head, and face. Although it is sometimes possible for the impairment to be immediately obvious, it could also take several hours or even a few days for an infirmity to reveal itself. For instance, if there is an expanding blood clot pushing against a cranial nerve and the nerve starts to die, it could be a fair amount of time before symptoms begin to be noticeable. 

Recovering from the injuries that you received during an auto accident is often painful and stressful. It is imperative that everyone is able to receive the help that they need. After a car accident, it is a smart idea to consult with a reputable personal injury attorney like those at Will Ferguson & Associates.

If someone you love has suffered from cranial nerve damage as the result of someone else’s recklessness, then you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for damages that you have sustained. If you would like to partake in a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys concerning your lawsuit, we are here to help. Just give us a call at (505) 243-5566 and speak with someone regarding your personal injury case today.

 

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