A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the outside of the head or by a strong jolt or shake that causes the brain to bump against the bony inner surface of the skull. While a concussion is a mild type of brain injury and most people fully recover, prompt treatment can help to minimize the effects and prevent further damage during the hours and days after the injury by managing swelling, pressure, and bleeding and preventing seizures and other complications.
Concussions are painful and frightening but are rarely life-threatening. They most commonly occur from falls, car accidents, and sports-related injuries. Because prompt evaluation, treatment, and observation are important in minimizing the risk of complications from a concussion, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion in yourself or in a loved one.
What Symptoms Might I Expect If I Have a Concussion?
If you’ve had an injury with a blow to the head, it’s always best to have a medical evaluation. Watch for any signs of a concussion such as:
Changes in vision
Nausea or vomiting
Drowsiness or lethargy
Sensitivity to sound and light
Balance or coordination problems
Ringing in the ears
Some people diagnosed with concussions experience episodes of amnesia, such as being unable to remember the accident or what they were doing immediately before or after their accident.
Those who’ve suffered a concussion are more likely to experience a second one, especially if they’ve been injured in a contact sport and go back to playing too soon after a concussion.
Symptoms of a Concussion
If a family member or friend has suffered a blow to the head, a fall, or a strong jarring motion or whiplash, it’s important to observe them and watch for signs of a concussion. Look for symptoms such as:
Loss of consciousness, even briefly
Appearing dazed or stunned
Inability to remember the accident or what happened right before or after the blow
Moving clumsily or lacking coordination
Slurred speech or answers questions slowly
Has sleep disturbances
Has slow responses and reflexes
Some symptoms may present immediately after a blow to the head or whiplash injury, or they may develop in the hours or days after an injury. If a loved one exhibits any of these symptoms of a concussion, they should see a medical professional as soon as possible.
Recovering From a Concussion
Treatment for a concussion mainly involves addressing individual symptoms, as well as rest and hydration. Victims of sports-related concussion injuries should be cleared by a doctor before returning to the field. Younger concussion victims may need more time to recover from a concussion than adults. Symptoms during the recovery period may include:
Sensitivity to noise and light
Lack of concentration and focus
Most people fully recover from a concussion and go on to live normal lives, but it’s very important to see a doctor any time there’s a suspected head injury. Call a New Haven brain injury lawyer today for a free consultation.