If you suffer a head injury from a fall, car accident, or other injury, you run the risk of sustaining a concussion. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that can range in minor to severe symptoms and consequences. If left untreated, a concussion can cause serious permanent brain damage. Multiple concussions can even cause irreversible damage and even death.
Luckily, there are ways you can identify the presence of a concussion and steps you can take to help your body and your brain heal. If you believe you are suffering from a concussion, please seek immediate medical assistance.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions affect people of all ages and demographics. From the child in Little League to the average adult, concussions can happen as a result of any injury to the head, neck, or upper body. Concussions occur when an impact causes the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, producing swelling.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion range in severity. If you or someone you love has recently suffered a head injury, look for the following:
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Dizziness or blackouts
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Loss of memory
- Headache or intense pressure in the head
- Delayed response time to questions
- Sleep disturbance
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of balance
- Pupil abnormalities
Athletes and those who engage in more risky activities are more likely to suffer from a concussion, but everyone should be educated to recognize the signs and symptoms should you or a loved one be affected.
Never Ignore Your Symptoms
If left untreated, a concussion can cause serious consequences. Concussions can also be accompanied by bleeding around the brain, which can be fatal. It is particularly dangerous to continue normal activities after suffering a concussion as the body experiences a general loss of coordination, making even the simplest task dangerous.
Athletes are especially at risk to develop second impact syndrome when continued activities lead to a second concussion. This can result in rapid and possibly fatal brain swelling, which is why it’s imperative that you seek medical treatment within 24-48 hours following any head injury. Concussion can last a week or even longer, making your window for further injury a wide one.
Evaluating and Treating a Concussion
If you’ve experienced a concussion, you have a variety of options for evaluation and treatment. The first thing you should do is visit an emergency room or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You’ll need the help of a trained medical professional to evaluate the severity of your concussion and establish a treatment plan.
Your doctor will rely heavily on your medical history in evaluating you, however, they will also most likely recommend a neurological exam to check your vision, hearing, balance, reflexes, and strength. You might also undergo a cognitive test to determine if there are any changes to your memory, information recall, or concentration.
Depending on your test results, your doctor will suggest physical and mental rest, as well as a pain reliever for headaches or physical pain resulting from your injury. You might also benefit from physical therapy if your head injury impacted other areas of the body.
For more information on concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, contact the experts at Elite Healthcare today.