Concussion Symptoms, Signs & Recovery
dizzy, sick or confused after hitting your head?
if you’ve ever felt dizzy, sick or confused after hitting your head, you may have sustained a concussion.
This type of head injury occurs when a person’s skull gets bumped or shaken violently.
If not treated properly, severe concussions can have extremely serious side effects.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Your brain is surrounded by spinal fluid, which acts as a protective barrier designed to absorb blows to your head.
concussions can also be undetectable from the outside
However, if you hit your head hard enough, your brain can crash into the sides of your skull.
This movement causes nerve endings and blood vessels to rupture, resulting in a concussion.
There may be lacerations or bruises to indicate a head injury, but concussions can also be undetectable from the outside.
Symptoms of a Concussion
It isn’t always easy to tell when someone has a concussion, symptoms can be obvious in some cases, but they may also be mild at first.
From the way a person walks and talks to how they regulate their emotions, concussions can affect a range of cognitive functions.
Knowing what symptoms to look out for is the most effective way to minimise the severity of a concussion.
Signs of a Concussion
If you experience any of the following symptoms after hitting or jarring your head, you probably have a concussion:
Loss of consciousness
Even if your symptoms aren’t very obvious, you could still have a serious brain injury. Always see a doctor if you notice any sign of a concussion.
Diagnosis of a Concussion
Concussions can usually be diagnosed with a simple neurological assessment.
To evaluate the severity of the injury, a doctor will need to test your basic cognitive skills, such as your coordination, memory and muscle strength, brain imaging tests can also confirm the presence of a concussion.
A CT scan, which uses a series of X-rays to capture any changes in the brain and skull, is the most standard type of testing used in concussion diagnosis.
Getting Concussion diagnosed as soon as possible is essential to recovery
Leaving a concussion untreated can be extremely dangerous, as your brain is more susceptible to damage when it’s concussed.
The sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can establish a suitable treatment plan and get on the road to recovery.
Common Causes of a Concussion
Concussions are most often caused by car accidents, participation in contact sports and falls.
However, you don’t necessarily need to be participating in a high-risk activity to sustain a concussion.
Head injuries can happen anywhere and at any time, making them difficult to anticipate and prevent.
Concussions from a Car Accident
From multi-car pile-ups to slow-speed fender benders, all car accidents pose the risk of a head injury.
Whether your skull hits the windscreen, steering wheel, dashboard, or another part of the vehicle, the impact of a car crash can easily result in a concussion.
only way to be sure that you don’t have a concussion is to get checked out
You may not even remember hitting your head, but the only way to be sure that you don’t have a concussion is to get checked out by a doctor.
Even if you can’t see any visible signs of damage following the accident, you could have sustained a closed-wound injury.
Concussion in Sports
Concussions have long been associated with contact sports like football and boxing - but the lasting impacts of sports-related head injuries are only just starting to be understood.
The main issue with concussions in sport is the amount of times an athlete may get injured.
every time this type of injury occurs, the brain becomes more exposed to damage
One concussion is bad enough, but medical research shows that every time this type of injury occurs, the brain becomes more exposed to damage and takes longer to recover.
Some athletes sustain multiple concussions over the course of their sporting career, causing a significant amount of damage to their brain.
This is why a bad concussion is now often considered a career-ending injury, as opposed to a temporary setback.
How Long Does a Concussion Last?
Mild concussions usually heal within 6 weeks, but the effects of a severe concussion can last several months.
The duration of your recovery will depend on how badly you have been concussed.
the brain needs time to fully recover from a concussion
Trying to rush the healing process is dangerous, as the brain needs time to fully recover from a concussion.
If you’re not sure how long your injury will take to heal, consult with your doctor.
The most effective form of concussion treatment is rest.
Without adequate rest, the symptoms of your concussion may persist.
it goes without saying but avoid anything that causes you emotional stress
In addition to taking a break from strenuous physical activities, you should also avoid anything that causes you emotional stress.
Cold compresses can also help reduce the swelling and bruising related to your concussion, although this won’t help with the cognitive side effects.
Could a Concussion Require Surgery?
Most concussions heal on their own, but surgery can be used to treat severe cases. You might require surgery if you experience any of the following:
Bleeding on the brain
Swelling of the brain
Prolonged concussion symptoms
Long-Term Effects of a Concussion
The chemical changes in the brain caused by a concussion can last years.
Serious or repeated concussions can lead to post-concussion syndrome, a condition that involves physical, emotional and cognitive problems.
Even if you recover all your cognitive skills, a concussion can leave you feeling not yourself for several years.
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