Maybe you fell off a ladder, or perhaps you got struck in the head by a piece of equipment or machinery on the factory floor. All it really takes for someone to suffer a brain injury is blunt force trauma to the head or intense and violent shaking motions.

You may notice warning signs of a brain injury in the days after a workplace accident. Symptoms can range from confusion and difficulty sleeping to an inability to stay awake and sensory symptoms, like ringing in your ears or blurry vision. People will have different symptoms for a head injury.

What’s important is that you know your body and that something isn’t right. Unfortunately, when you go to the doctor, they can’t find conclusive proof of anything wrong. That doesn’t mean that you’ve imagined your symptoms. What it might mean is that you need different testing.

Standard MRI imaging is not that good at detecting traumatic brain injuries

Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the industry standard for the diagnosis of injuries to internal organs, it doesn’t always locate damage to the brain. Even in cases where an MRI does locate in injury, it may stop showing signs of damage while patients still have severe symptoms.

Thankfully, researchers have found a way to adjust MRI tests to make them better at locating brain injuries. DT-MRI or diffusion tensor MRI works by tracking the flow of water through the brain. Abnormalities in that flow can help doctors find areas of the brain that don’t function properly even if they don’t have the common signs of injury.

Researchers have found that DT-MRIs are able to locate signs of injury as long as a year after the initial injury occurred. If you continue to have symptoms but an MRI isn’t getting you the diagnosis you need, better testing could help.

You shouldn’t waste time when dealing with a brain injury

If you have suffered an injury to your head on the job, the symptoms of that injury could worsen over time and may have long-term implications for your career.

Getting the right diagnostic testing early will let you get the treatment that you need to recover from your symptoms or adjust to the impact that the brain injury has had.