Head feels weird: What it means and how to deal with it
The term “head feels weird” refers to the experience of having your head suddenly feel heavy, numb, or even completely paralyzed. Some people have experienced this after falling from great heights (such as from a building), while others have reported experiencing this during extreme physical activity such as swimming underwater.
Other times, you might not even realize that something is wrong until you are already unconscious due to other causes.
What exactly is going on inside your head when you experience this phenomenon? Is there anything that could cause it? And what can you do about it if it happens to you?
Let’s take a look at these questions.
Why Does My Head Feel Weird?: What is happening in my brain right now? How did I get here and where am I headed?
When you fall down from a high place, your body may momentarily lose some of its balance. Your head might also feel heavy and numb. You might even start to see stars or hear sounds that aren’t really there. When you reach the bottom, you will probably notice that your vision is blurry and everything seems very dark. You might even think that you’re seeing things out of order or in slow motion!
All of these thoughts and experiences are common and very natural. In fact, this is actually a blessing in disguise because your brain is working so hard to keep you from collapsing and passing out that it doesn’t have time to focus on the pain of the fall.
Thanks to this little trick, you can survive even the worst falls – as long as you don’t land on your head!
This phenomenon is called the “vomit comet effect” and you can read more about it here.
What to do: If you ever fall down from a high place and lose consciousness (even if you don’t feel like throwing up or see stars), you may actually have suffered something called a traumatic brain injury. This is very serious and needs immediate medical attention!
Although it is very rare, in some cases people have even died from these types of injuries.
If you don’t know where you are right now or how you got here, go directly to the emergency room at your nearest hospital. If you don’t have any other serious injuries, then doctors will be able to treat you there.
If not, well then it’s time to call your life insurance company…
How to prevent: If you are able to anticipate a fall, you can prepare yourself for the experience by strengthening your core muscles. This will allow your body to ignore the fall and focus on trying to keep you conscious.
When you train for this, you need to find something that is high enough to cause damage (such as a cliff or tree branch) but can still be trusted not to kill you if you fall from it.
You can also try jumping into a swimming pool or deep body of water. This will partially break your fall and prevent your brain from suffering too much trauma.
But remember: this will NOT always keep you from blacking out. In fact, it’s still better to fall into water than on concrete since pool water is much easier to survive in than your head is!
Just make sure you don’t land head first and check to see that no one is standing directly behind where you are about to land.
If you happen to find yourself trapped underwater, there are a few things that could happen. The first thing is you could simply drown.
The second thing is you could run out of oxygen before you drown (this only applies in cases of submersion where the whole body is under water like a pool or lake, not falling into a deep ocean trench. Those are much less likely to cause drowning). The third thing that could happen, but definitely the least likely, is that you are able to hold your breath for a very, very long time without needing to take a single breath.
Probably the scariest scenario, and the one that most Hollywood films seem to focus on, is drowning. While this can be a very painful way to die, it’s actually not the most likely!
What happens: As with all scenarios where your air supply is cut off, your brain shuts down very basic functions in your body in order to keep you alive as long as possible. In this case, that means shutting off your breathing reflex.
If you’re not underwater or in the middle of a rain storm, you probably won’t drown. Your body can actually survive for quite a long time without oxygen as long as you don’t actually swallow any of the water.
What to do: If you ever fall into water, even very shallow water where only your head is submerged, and you find that you are unable to keep your head above the surface, then the first thing you should do is calm down. Panicking and thrashing about only uses more of the oxygen in your system and brings you closer to passing out.
When you’re ready, take a very deep breath, filling your lungs all the way up, and close your mouth. Hold the breath for as long as possible as you slowly count to ten.
Then, release the breath slowly, again trying to hold it for as long as possible before breathing in again.
Repeat this as many times as you can until you feel the need to gasp for air. When you gasp, try to fill your lungs as much as possible before releasing the breath again.
If you can still hear some noise and voices while underwater, keep repeating the cycle until they become faint and quiet, then stop. Focus on breathing in and out slowly and easily, don’t panic and you’ll make it through.
36. Drowning: Alone
Not the most pleasant scenario, unless you’re actively trying to kill yourself of course. If you are, then disregard everything above.
What happens: The exact same thing as the previous scenario, since there is no one around to hear you or pull you out, you’ll simply drown while slowly losing consciousness.
What to do: See section 35: ‘Drowning’.
Asphyxiation or choking is again, a fairly common way to die. Not the most pleasant, but not the most painful either.
What happens: Air can only enter or exit your body through your mouth and nose. When something gets caught in one of these holes, you can’t breath in or out.
This is caused by a number of things, including being strangled or having something get stuck in your throat.
What to do: In the case of someone trying to strangle you, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. However, if something does get stuck in your throat and you can’t get it out, you can still survive.
Chances are, however, that you’ll still panic and not be able to help yourself or think straight.
If you can reach it, pull the object back out of your throat by grabbing it between your thumb and forefinger, like you would a splinter. This is the method that will be shown in this entry.
Obviously, if you can’t reach it, you’re pretty much doomed.
This is one of those scenarios that people don’t tend to think about until they’re in a situation where it could happen.
You probably didn’t think about it too much before reading this, right?
What happens: Obviously, you fall. Whether it’s from a tree, a cliff, a second story window or even off a roof, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that you’re falling and that’s never a good thing.
What to do: If you are in mid air when this happens, you’ve got two options. The first, and most preferable, option is to try to use whatever means you can to slow your decent and give yourself some time to get to safety.
This could include using your clothing or even your hands to slow and lessen the impact of the fall. Obviously, this isn’t going to save you from falling great distances, but if you’re smart about it, you can give yourself a fighting chance.
The second option involves a little more luck and timing. If you’re falling a moderate or short distance, you can jump up and attempt to grab something above you to stop your fall.
This isn’t as easy as it seems, however, as even if you do manage to get something to hold on to, there’s still a chance that you won’t be able to support your weight and will fall anyway, or even pull it down on top of you.
The most feared way to die in almost any situation, dying in a fire is one of the quickest and certainly among the most painful ways to go. The movies make it out to be one of the most terrifying ways as well, which while it may be true from a certain standpoint, the terror most likely won’t set in until later for most people.
What happens: There are a wide variety of ways that one can die in a fire. The most common is the obvious burning that occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of heat.
As your skin burns, your body will also begin to produce a thick layer of foam as your lungs begin to react to the heat and attempt to dilute it. This foaming of the lungs will eventually lead to asphyxiation, as you literally drown in your own body fluids.
Other ways of dying in a fire include thermal burns, where the heat burns the skin and flesh off of your bones, leading to your skeleton becoming visible. This can occur anywhere on the body, but most likely occurs on areas which don’t have much protection such as the legs and arms.
This is also where third degree burns come into play, which are ones that burn down to the bone.
The other very real possibility is smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s very possible to die of smoke inhalation or the buildup of carbon monoxide before you’re actually burned.
What to do: If you find yourself in a situation where there is fire nearby, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of survival.
The first thing to do is get away from the area itself. This means opening up any door that may be closed and even using your body to bust through a window if you have to.
This may not be possible in the event of a fire in your home or some other place where you may be trapped, therefore, your next step is to find any type of material that you can use to cover your mouth and nose. The aim here is to block the smoke from getting into your lungs. Finally, if all else fails and you can’t escape the flames, find a container of some sort, fill it with water and use it to protect yourself against the heat.
As for surviving a fire that has already engulfed you, your best course of action is to do everything you can to get yourself out of immediate danger. This means getting away from the flames as quickly as you can.
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t save anything, you have to trusting that all of your belongings aren’t actually worth your life and if they are, then you’ll get new ones later.
If you’re trapped and can’t get out on your own, roll onto the ground or better yet roll into a ball and cover your face and head with your arms and hands. This decreases your overall body surface area that is exposed to the flames and will give you a better chance of surviving the fire.
You should also avoid moving as much as possible in order to avoid the flames.
The best chance you have of surviving a fire is early detection and evacuation. Once the fire has reached a certain point, your odds of survival decrease rapidly.
Finally, if there are people that are around you and you feel their life is in immediate danger, then you need to make a quick decision on whether or not you’re going to help them or not. The rule of thumb here is to see if you’re physically capable of helping them, if so, then you should do so if it doesn’t endanger your own life any further.
2. Car Accident
Whether you’re the driver, passenger or a pedestrian, car accidents are a very real danger in today’s world. When it comes to your likelihood of survival, the position you are in when the accident occurs plays a very big part in whether you live or die.
Sources & references used in this article:
A fascination for fish: adventures of an underwater pioneer by DC Powell – 2003 – books.google.com
Underwater Digital Video Made Easy by SM Barsky, L Milbrand, M Thurlow – 2005 – books.google.com
Design and Evaluation Methods for Underwater Control Systems by L Chi – 1996 – osti.gov