Sustaining a head injury is a frightening event and not one to be taken lightly. Head injuries are common among athletes, but it doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional football player, someone involved in a car wreck, or anything in-between. As one of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions are serious yet invisible injuries caused by a direct blow to the head or violent shaking of the upper body and head. Because symptoms may be subtle, delayed, or even intentionally concealed, it can be challenging to know when medical attention is warranted.
Some of the signs and symptoms that could indicate a concussion include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headache and lightheadedness
- Acting woozy or dazed
- Visual disturbances
- Balance problems
- Memory disturbances
- Lack of focus
- Irritability or personality changes
- Being knocked unconscious
Why Do I Need Medical Attention if I Feel OK After a Concussion?
The sad truth is that many people who sustain a head injury won’t go to a doctor such as an emergency medicine doctor in an ER, and as many as half of concussions go unreported. Athletes who receive direct blows to the head are notorious for “shaking off” their head injuries. That may be because of their training to push through physical pain and be team players, but it’s unwise and unadvisable for them to do this. A concussion is not to be taken lightly, especially when your health and safety are on the line, not to mention the athlete’s continued ability to play after they have healed from their concussion.
Not all concussions result in immediate symptoms, either. You may experience the symptoms in the near future and they may be worse than they would have been otherwise. You should see a doctor in any instance in which you receive a direct blow to the head. You must also make the effort to rest physically and mentally and avoid vigorous physical exertion and limit overly strenuous mentally taxing activities while recovering from a head injury.
What Happens if I Have Repeated Concussions?
Fortunately, most people fully recover from a head injury within about a week after a head injury, but you could have further problems in the future. That’s because the risk of sustaining another concussion after having your first increases, and suffering repeated concussions can have devastating long-term consequences to your health – physically, cognitively, and mentally.
Not seeking medical attention following a concussion could be potentially life-threatening. If you sustain a second blow to the head before you’ve had time to sufficiently recover from the first concussion (“second impact syndrome,” or SIS), it can cause a deadly brain hernia. Although this is very rare, it should be taken seriously as it is often fatal. If you suspect someone has suffered from it, you should immediately dial 911 for emergency medical care.
What to Do After a Blow to the Head
Have you witnessed someone suffer a possible concussion? It’s important to make sure they see a doctor immediately. Once their concussion is diagnosed, they will need to rest physically and mentally to ensure they recover properly. They must also follow their doctor’s instructions and make sure they are cleared to return to any strenuous physical activities before proceeding to do so without clearance.
Advance ER Offers Concussion Treatment at Our Two Freestanding ER Locations
If you have sustained a concussion, consider seeking medical care at one of Advance ER. You will benefit from the expertise of our board-certified emergency medicine physicians and have access to bedside assessments from board-certified neurologists, too (please note that access to specialists through Advance ER’s SPECIALIST NOW program is contingent on the specialist’s availability).
Our team at Advance ER at both of our well-equipped locations will evaluate you for a concussion with sophisticated imaging equipment such as CT and MRI scans so we can begin the proper treatment right away and get you back to feeling like yourself again ASAP.
Have you been impacted by a head injury? You should see a doctor right away for emergency medical attention. Contact Advance ER at (214) 494-8222 or get in touch with us online for further information.