What Is Concussion
The most common concussion symptoms can appear with all sorts of head injuries, and they can happen almost to anyone.
Yes, no matter if it is a toddler who fell off from a bench in the park, or elders because they lost their balance and fell directly on their head, they’re all prune to this.
If this has happened, you should always look for concussion symptoms, but before you do, you should educate yourself about it so you can recognize them sooner and take action.
Concussions are also something that cross all sports and both genders, and oftentimes these injuries can have very deleterious effect if not managed correctly.
What is concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury sustained by a blow either to the head or to the body, resulting in traumatic unnatural forces being applied to the brain.
It is not a “bruise” to the brain and it is however a traumatic injury.
Each concussion appears to be unique and individual, and the overall severity of a concussion is determined by how many, and which symptoms the person is experiencing, the intensity of the symptoms, and how long they last.
There are many signs and symptoms of concussion, but these are the most common which you should be really aware of.
They fall into four categories:
- Thinking and Remembering
- Emotional and
- Sleep disturbances
When you experience a head blow, most often doctors look for concussion symptoms such as:
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Feeling and being slowed down
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Difficulty to remember information(especially new info)
- Mild or severe headache
- Symptoms of nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Fatigue (Lack of energy)
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- More emotional than usual
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Trouble falling asleep, or
- Sleep Disturbance if any
Other Concussion Symptoms
A person that just had a head blow and possible concussion, should be checked by a health care professional as soon as possible.
If you’re in a position to help, call an ambulance as soon as possible.
And in case you’re the one having this injury, PLEASE don’t rely solely on your own assessment for concussion signs you have.
They may get worse and you definitely need reevaluation from a doctor.
This is something you shouldn’t fool with, as it may affect seriously your brain health.
Trouble Of Staying Alert
If you had a head trauma and you’re not fully oriented within at least 30 minutes, it should start the “alarm”.
The Mayo Clinic explains that some concussion symptoms may not show up immediately. However, the victim should be monitored for signs of confusion, amnesia and delayed responses to questions.
There are situations when some concussions may cause losing your consciousness, and some of them don’t, and there are also cases where it is possible to have a concussion and not realize it at all.
Concussions are particularly common when playing a contact sport, such as football.
When you have a possible concussion, you may have an ear bleeding, but if you’re not sure there’s been a direct injury to the ear, either way you should get yourself checked.
Blood dripping from an ear could be a signal of a serious skull fracture that has damaged a blood vessel, or even the lining around the brain.
Go to the doctor immediately.
Irregular Pupil Dilation
If your pupils are normal, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a serious head injury.
In case they’re clearly unequal or don’t response equally to light, that could be a potential sign of expanding pressure on the brain, and this condition requires immediate medical attention.
If you notice that fluid is flowing from the nostrils or ears, and especially if it is clear, it could be from a tear in the lining around the brain that holds in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Concussion Symptoms In Children
Head trauma is very common in young children, but concussions can be difficult to recognize in infants and toddlers because they can’t describe how they feel.
However, the most common concussion symptoms children have are:
- Being dazed
- They are tired easily
- Irritability and crankiness episodes
- Loss of balance and unsteady walking
- Excessive crying episodes
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest in their favorite toys
When To See A Doctor
You should definitely see a doctor if within 1 – 2 days when you or your child have experienced a head injury, even if emergency care isn’t required.
This is just in case and to make sure everything is OK.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you call your child’s doctor for anything more than a light bump on your child’s head.
If your child doesn’t have signs of a serious head injury, remains alert, moves normally and responds to you, the injury is probably mild and usually doesn’t need further testing.
In this case, if your child wants to nap, it’s OK to let him or her sleep.
If worrisome signs develop later, seek emergency care.
Seek an emergency care in case of:
- Repeated vomiting
- A loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
- A headache that gets worse over time
- Behavior changes, such as irritability
- Changes in physical coordination, such as stumbling or clumsiness
- Confusion or disorientation, such as difficulty recognizing people or places
- Slurred speech or other changes in speech
Risk Factors Of Getting Concussion
Activities and factors that may increase your risk of a concussion include:
- Falling, especially in young children and elders
- Participating in a high-risk sport (football, hockey, soccer, rugby, boxing or other contact sport)
- Participating in high-risk sports without proper safety equipment and supervision
- Being involved in a motor vehicle collision
- Being involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident
- Being a soldier involved in combat
- Being a victim of physical abuse
- Having had a previous concussion
Potential complications of concussion include:
- Post-traumatic headaches
- Post-traumatic vertigo
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Cumulative effects of multiple brain injuries
- Second impact syndrome
When it happens, concussion changes the levels of brain chemicals. It usually takes about a week for these levels to stabilize again, but recovery time varies.
If this has happened to athletes, it is important for them never to return to sports while they’re still experiencing signs and symptoms of concussion.
Prevention From Concussions
In case you’re thinking how to prevent them and minimize your risk of head injuries, these tips may come quite helpful:
Wear protective gear during sports and other recreational activities
Make sure the equipment fits properly, is well-maintained and worn correctly. Follow the rules of the game and practice good sportsmanship.
Always wear protective headgear when bicycling, motorcycling, snowboarding or engaging in any recreational activity that may result in head injury.
Wearing a seat belt may prevent serious injury, including head injury, during a traffic accident.
Make your home safe
Keep your home well-lit and and get rid of anything from the floor that might cause you to trip and fall. Most falls around the home are a leading cause of head injury.
Protect your children
Block off stairways and install window guards, in order to lower the risk of head injuries to your children.
It is highly recommended to exercise regularly, so you can strengthen your leg muscles and improve your balance.
Educate others about concussions
Help whenever you can to spread awareness about concussions and it’s consequences if they’re not treated well, including coaches, athletes, parents and others.
Knowing how to prevent them, or how to react on time may save precious lives and brain health whatsoever.
It is always better to prevent it, rather than cure it!
Source: Mayo Clinic
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