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What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect the way your brain functions. A concussion can occur with a direct blow to the head, but can also occur after violent shaking of the upper body and head. In the US, most concussions occur as a result of motor vehicle crashes, bicycle injuries, and sports-related injuries. Skiing, horseback riding, and football are the most common sports resulting in concussions.

These injuries can be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. However, most concussions occur without loss of consciousness making it more difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms of a concussion are usually temporary but can be very concerning. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Balance problems
  • Memory impairment
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Visual disturbances
  • Concentration problems
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Most concussive symptoms resolve quickly and spontaneously. However, some patients experience prolonged symptoms.

Seeking Timely Medical Attention for Head Injuries

Follow up with your doctor within one or two days after any head injury for a checkup.

Emergency care should be sought if a patient is:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargic
  • Dizzy
  • Experiencing a severe headache
  • Experiencing changes in coordination
  • Experiencing visual changes
  • Having a seizure
  • Unconscious for more than 30 seconds

Athletes should not return to physical activity until they are symptom-free and have been cleared by their doctor.

Sometimes, patients may experience post-concussive symptoms which typically take longer to resolve. They usually resolve on their own with physical and mental rest. Physical rest includes avoiding vigorous sports or physical exertion. Mental rest includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as texting, watching TV, reading, and schoolwork.

Debunking Concussion Myths

It is important to be aware that concussions aren't always accompanied by symptoms such as loss of consciousness and can occur even without a direct blow to the head. Additionally, the severity of symptoms doesn't necessarily correlate with the severity of the concussion, so any head injury should be taken seriously.

Untreated or improperly managed concussions can lead to long-term complications, including cognitive deficits, mood disturbances, and increased susceptibility to future head injuries. You can help mitigate these risks by ensuring prompt and appropriate medical treatment for concussions, following healthcare providers' recommendations for rest and rehabilitation.

Learn About Concussion Treatments at Advance ER in Dallas