Concussion: What should I know about this head injury?

A concussion is brought about by a direct jolt or strike to the head or from an indirect force transmitted to the head which causes the brain to hit the interior of the skull. As a result, there is brief neurological disruption that triggers a variety of symptoms.

Even though it is still unclear on the amount of force needed to end up with a concussion, being knocked on the head can cause one. Nevertheless, the injury can occur without requiring a direct blow to the head. Rapid changes in velocity can also damage the brain. In addition, a concussion can occur after a fall, vehicular accident or in sports.

concussion

A headache is the common initial indication of the injury.

What are the indications?

In some individuals, they seem unaffected initially. On the other hand, it is vital to bear in mind that some symptoms might be delayed for several hours. If loss of consciousness occurs, it should not be ignored and might require medical care.

The symptoms tend to vary in each individual and can arise both mentally and physically. A headache is the common initial indication of the injury along with the following:

  • Balance issues
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Short-term memory issues

When to consult a doctor

The individual should not hesitate to seek medical care if worried of a serious injury. After sustaining a head injury, a phase of monitoring is vital to detect any delayed symptoms such as:

  • Slurred speech
  • Increased drowsiness
  • Severe or worsening headaches
  • Visual changes
  • Neck pain
  • Changes in the arousal level

These might be indications of a traumatic brain injury such as a fracture or bleeding in the brain. If not promptly treated, it can result to dangerous consequences.

Management of a concussion

An individual who sustained a concussion should take some time to rest. Since the metabolism of the brain is affected, it is essential to lessen the number of external stimuli being exposed to daily particularly work or school tasks and physical activity.

The length of recovery varies for everyone, usually within 3-4 weeks for simple cases. The recovery is often extended among the elderly as well as those with medical conditions or other injuries. Remember that the symptoms might persist if steps are not taken to allow the brain to rest properly.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on concussion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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