When a person suffers a concussion, the brain is “hit” by an object, usually a hard object. This can cause the brain to miss some regions, and therefore the brain can’t perform some functions.
In the case of a concussion, it can be hard to know if you’ve sustained a head injury.
A person may experience several symptoms, but a person should seek medical attention if they:
- Are unable to speak, or don’t understand what others say
- Have trouble seeing, or have double vision
- Have severe headache, dizziness, or vomiting
- Have trouble thinking, or have trouble understanding speech
- Have trouble sleeping
However, a person should also seek medical attention if they have any of the following:
- A persistent headache
In some instances, a person may experience the symptoms of a concussion but then recover quickly.
However, in other cases, these symptoms can be prolonged.
If a person suspects they may have suffered a concussion, they should seek medical attention. A person should also seek medical attention if they have any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- A severe headache
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling confused
- Headache that has lasted longer than 48 hours
Signs of a concussion
Signs of a concussion can include:
- Signs of a concussion with no loss of consciousness.
- Headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
- Feeling confused.
The symptoms of a concussion can be similar to those of a migraine.
If a person has a history of concussion, they should see a doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- A headache that comes on suddenly
When to seek emergency help?
People should seek emergency help if they have any of the symptoms below.
- Have a severe headache
- Cannot find their head
- Have double vision
- Have trouble seeing, or have double or blurred vision
Causes of a concussion
The main causes of a concussion include:
- Sports injuries, such as football, soccer, and hockey
- Car or motorcycle accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Head trauma from serious head injuries, such as head injuries sustained in a car accident or by a fall
- Brain tumors
- Severe bleeding in the brain or aneurysm
- An infection in the middle of the brain
- A blood clot
Symptoms of a concussion
People who have a concussion may experience the following symptoms:
- Confused, dazed, or disoriented
- Feeling like they “do not know where they are”
- Severe headache
- Feeling sleepy or tired
In some cases, a person may not have any symptoms that are specific to a concussion.
However, a person should still seek medical attention if they:
- Have a headache or dizziness
- Have a headache that comes on suddenly
- Are unable to speak
- Cannot see, or have double vision
- Have trouble understanding speech
- Cannot sleep
- Have blurred vision
- Cannot remember recent events
When to see a doctor?
A person should seek medical attention if they have any of the following symptoms:
- A head injury that lasts more than 24 hours
- A head injury that causes changes in your mental state, such as drowsiness
- Headaches that come on suddenly
- Nausea or vomiting
Complications of a concussion can include:
- Headache in the back of the head
- Trouble seeing or double vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Persistent headache
- Vision problems
- Memory problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Flu-like symptoms
- Feeling out of touch with reality
How is a concussion diagnosed?
A doctor may use several methods to diagnose a concussion, including:
- Physical exam. A doctor will ask a person about their symptoms and if they have any head injuries or recent head trauma. They may also ask a person to close their eyes or cover their head for a period of time.
- Neurological exam. A doctor may use a variety of tests to diagnose a concussion.
This may include a walk-and-turn test, which a person will be asked to do, and then repeat the test, but this time turning their head. If they do this correctly, the doctor will consider that person to have a concussion.
The doctor may also use an MRI scan or CT scan to assess the extent of any injury.
The symptoms of a concussion may suggest a concussion, but these symptoms may also be a sign of a different condition. If a person has any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor:
- Headache that comes on suddenly
- Difficulty talking
- Difficulty understanding speech
What is the treatment for a concussion?
Treatment for a concussion depends on a person’s symptoms and how severe the injury is.
Treatment may include:
- Drugs that may help relieve pain
Some people may require medication and pain relief after a concussion.
However, doctors may only recommend a person take pain medication if they have a severe headache or a headache that comes on suddenly.
If a person has no symptoms of a concussion, they should not have a prescription for pain medication.
If a person has a concussion, they should speak to a doctor right away.
Although it is not always possible to treat a concussion, a doctor may be able to help a person recover faster by using the following techniques:
- Tasking a person back to their normal level of activity.
- Medicine to ease symptoms.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Injuries to the head can cause injuries to other parts of the body. For example, a person may injure their head and also their neck.
A person should seek immediate medical attention if they have any of the following symptoms:
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