Concussion: Symptoms and Treatment
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). It can happen after an effect to the head or after a whiplash-type injury that causes the head and brain to shake rapidly backward and forward. Concussions are usually not deadly, but they can cause severe symptoms that need medical treatment. A concussion is a terrible injury that results in an altered mental state that may include ending up being unconscious.
Anybody can become hurt during a fall, car mishap, or any other daily activity. If you participate in impact sports such as football or boxing, you have actually an increased risk of getting a concussion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) price quote that in 2010 approximately 2.5 million people in the United States checked out the healthcare facility with TBIs.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms of a concussion differ depending on both the seriousness of the injury and the individual hurt. It’s not true that a loss of awareness constantly occurs with a concussion. Some people do experience a loss of consciousness, however others do not.
The symptoms may begin immediately, or they might not develop for hours, days, weeks, and even months following the injury. The signs of a concussion might consist of:
- brief loss of awareness after the injury
- memory problems
- drowsiness or feeling sluggish
- double vision or blurred vision
- queasiness or vomiting
- sensitivity to light or noise
- balance problems
- slowed reaction to stimuli
During the recovery duration after a concussion, you might experience the following symptoms:
- sensitivity to light or noise
- difficulty focusing
- moderate headaches
You Asked, We Answered
I’ve always heard that you should keep somebody awake for 24 hours if they’ve suffered a significant head injury, however is that true? Why is it so essential?
The conventional teaching is that it is very important to awaken somebody periodically after a traumatic brain injury (e.g., if they have suffered loss of awareness or a severe concussion) in order to be specific that they are not degrading. Being not able to excite someone would be a sign of a severe scenario. But the act of sleeping itself would not be dangerous. In the hospital, if someone has suffered an adequately bad injury, it is likely that they would have had a CT scan or MRI to straight identify an area of bleeding, fractured skull, or other injury. In the wilderness, away from screening, it is affordable to awaken somebody every couple of hours to be certain that they are not worsening. There is no outright period for or duration of such assessment, however keep in mind that at some point, people have to sleep due to the fact that they are tired, and rest is necessary for recovery.
– Paul Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP, FAWM
Emergency Symptoms: When to See a Doctor
See a doctor if you believe that you or somebody else has a concussion. If a concussion happens during sports practice or a game, inform the athletic coach and go to a doctor. If you, or somebody you know, experiences any of the following severe symptoms after an injury, seek instant emergency medical treatment or call 911:
- a failure to get up (also called a coma).
- draining of blood or clear fluid from the ears or nose.
- unequal pupil size (one pupil is larger than the other).
- abnormal eye motion.
- lasting confusion.
- slurred speech.
- repeated vomiting.
- weak muscles.
- issues walking.
Concussions may be associateded with by injuries to the spine. If you think that the individual has a neck or back injury, avoid moving them and call an ambulance for help. If you definitely need to move the individual, do so very thoroughly. You must aim to move the individual’s neck and back as low as possible. This will avoid causing further damage to the spine.
How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?
If a doctor or emergency room see is required, your doctor will begin with concerns about how the injury took place and its symptoms. Your doctor may then carry out a physical examination to identify what symptoms there are.
When it comes to serious symptoms, your doctor might ask for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the brain to look for serious injuries. In the case of seizures, your doctor might likewise carry out an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which monitors brain waves.
How Is a Concussion Treated?
Treatment for a concussion depends on the seriousness of your symptoms. You may require surgery or other medical treatments if you have bleeding in the brain, swelling of the brain, or a serious injury to the brain. However, most concussions do not require surgery or any significant medical treatment.
During the first 24 hours after the injury, your doctor might ask that someone wake you every two to three hours. This makes sure that you have not gone into a coma as well as permits someone to check for signs of severe confusion or abnormal behavior.
If the concussion is leading headaches, your doctor may recommend non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Your doctor will likewise most likely ask you to obtain a lot of rest, prevent sports and other strenuous activities, and prevent driving an automobile or riding a bike for 24 hours or even couple of months, depending on the seriousness of your injury. Alcohol might slow recovery, so ask your doctor if you need to prevent drinking it. If you should prevent alcohol, ask your doctor for how long.
A Warning Regarding the Long-Term Effects of Multiple Concussions
Anyone who has had a concussion ought to not go back to sports or laborious activities without a doctor’s authorization. Getting a second concussion before the first concussion is healed can cause a condition referred to as second impact syndrome (SIS), which can enhance the chances of severe brain swelling and may be deadly.
Keep in mind, it’s important to require time to rest after any concussion. This enables the brain to recover. Even as soon as your doctor has granted consent to go back to sports or exercise, that return ought to be steady.
How to Prevent Concussions
You can decrease your risk of getting a concussion by wearing the correct helmet and other athletic safety gear during sports activities. Constantly ensure the helmet and other gear fit properly and are worn appropriately. Ask a coach or other sports professional about safe playing strategies, and ensure to follow their recommendations. The CDC provides a comprehensive overview of concussion information.
Long-Term Outlook After a Concussion
The majority of people entirely recover from their concussions, however it might take months for the symptoms to vanish. In uncommon circumstances, people experience psychological, mental or physical modifications that are more long lasting. Repeat concussions need to be avoided since even though they are seldom deadly, they can enhance the opportunities of getting long-term brain damage.
Last modified: August 9, 2016