What is a concussion?
A concussion usually occurs after a strong impact on a person’s head and is a mild traumatic brain injury. A concussion may result in altering a person’s mental state or a person may become unconscious.
After a fall, a car accident, or a sports accident, there is an increased risk of getting concussions. Usually, concussions are not life-threatening, but they might affect your daily life activities if not treated immediately because they affect your brain.
Concussions may happen without any bruise or bleeding on your head. That is why it is important to have yourself checked after an accident even if you look fine.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion
Signs and symptoms of a concussion are different for every situation, this is because it depends on the impact of the injury and the person injured. It is important to understand that the symptoms that you may experience are different from other people. It varies from case to case.
The symptoms a person may experience when having a concussion are the following:
- memory problems
- double vision
- blurred vision
- nausea or vomiting
- balance problems
- slow reaction to stimuli
- sensitivity to light
- sensitivity to noise
These symptoms usually show immediately.
What causes a concussion?
Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, and car accidents usually cause concussions. For children, biking and playing outdoors are usually the cause of concussions.
Who are the people at most risk for a concussion?
The people who are at greater risk are:
- Older people
- Children under four years old
- People involved in car accidents
- People who were in motor vehicle accidents
- Military personnel
- People who play sports or ride bikes
- Victims of bullying or physical abuse
How to prevent concussions
Here are a few tips to make sure your head is safe and you will not have injuries that will cause concussions:
- Wear protective gear like helmets: If you will be playing sports or do risky recreational activities, then it is best that you wear protective gear like helmets. Make sure that the gear fits properly and is worn properly on your head.
- Wear your seatbelt: In order to prevent a heavy impact in case of a car accident, buckle your seatbelt.
- Protect your children: Make sure you have protective measures for stairways and windows. It is important that something else is installed in case you are not watching them. Make sure to keep an eye on them when they are playing outdoors or riding their bikes.
- Keep your home safe: Make sure that there are no decorations or anything on the floor that will cause you or someone else to trip. In case you are cleaning and the floor is slippery, put up a sign.
- Educate others: It is important that others know the symptoms of concussions, especially if they are teachers, sports coaches, parents, and athletes. In this way, they know when to call 911.
When to see a doctor
If you or a loved one is experiencing a concussion, you should go see the doctor immediately. Some concussions are connected to the spine, and most are affecting the brain. Hence, it is crucial to see a doctor.
It is better not to wait for severe things to happen such as seizures and slurred speech before seeing a doctor.
Call 911 if the following are being experienced after a head injury:
- headache that worsens
- loss of consciousness more than 30 seconds
- repeatedly vomiting
- fluid or blood coming from nose or ears
- dilated pupils
- pupils have unequal sizes
- vision disturbances
- weakness of arms or legs
- a ringing sound that does not stop
- changes in behavior
- disorientation or confusion
- slurred speech
- pale for more than an hour
- balance and coordination problems
- bumps or bruises on the head for infants under 12 months of age
How concussion is diagnosed
When you arrive at the hospital, the doctor will begin questioning you how the injury happened and what are the symptoms you experienced. After that, a physical examination might be performed to determine other symptoms.
An MRI scan or a CT scan of your brain might be done especially if it is a serious injury. If seizures happen, an electroencephalogram might be performed. This monitors your brain waves.
Eye tests might also be done to check concussions. There are usually changes in pupils if a concussion is occurring.
How a concussion is treated
The treatment for a concussion depends on the severity of the injury. It will also depend on the tests, scans, and symptoms. Surgery might be needed if the person injured has internal bleeding in the brain, has swelling in the brain, or a serious injury to the brain.
However, if a concussion was determined to be a minor incident, your doctor might give you medicine to take and get plenty of rest. You will probably be asked to avoid sports, driving, and other strenuous activities for a few weeks or months, depending on the gravity of your concussion. Alcohol might also be prohibited for a short period of time because it slows recovery.
Long term effects and multiple concussions
Multiple concussions may cause long-term effects. But sometimes, even just one concussion will have an impact causing a long-term effect that may affect your daily life. These are the reasons why you should see a doctor after an accident. If you think you are fine or maybe you look fine because there is no bleeding, you do not see the insides of your body. Hence, seeing a doctor to run tests is the best way to know if you are really okay.
See your doctor today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident recently and you have been seeing symptoms of concussion, call us today to schedule a checkup. We are dedicated to providing you the best health care to improve your quality of life. Elite Sport and Personal Injury Centers of Atlanta have specialists that can check and treat concussions.
Do not wait for your concussion to have a long-term effect before you treat it. Let us help you at an early stage. Contact us today.