A concussion, also called traumatic brain injury, is a minor form of brain injury that occurs when an object hits the head. This may lead to headaches, changes in alertness and loss of consciousness. The recovery of symptoms may be slower in older adults, young children, and teens generally, and a person who had a concussion in the past is still at risk of having another one. Treating a concussion depends on its severity and several tests and examinations may be performed.
Signs and Symptoms
For an individual who has a concussion, symptoms can last for days or longer but he or she may recover well.
In treating a concussion, you will first need to identify if you have the following signs and symptoms that a concussion brings.
Mild concussion symptoms can include:
- Not able to concentrate and think clearly
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acting somewhat confused
- Sleep abnormalities
- Being drowsy
- Loss of consciousness for a fairly short period of time
- Feeling like you have “lost time”
- Amnesia or losing memory of happenings before the injury or right after
- Seeing flashing lights
Severe concussion symptoms are the following and medical care is needed right away.
- Changes in alertness and consciousness
- Changes in speech
- Muscle weakness on one or both sides
- Repeated vomiting
- Confusion that does not go away
- Pupils of the eyes that are not equal in size
- Unusual eye movements
- Walking or balance problems
- Unconsciousness for a longer period of time or that continues (coma)
People who have had a head injury that caused concussion has neck and spine injury so taking special care is a must when moving them.
Treating a Concussion
In treating a concussion, the following can help you.
The doctor will perform a physical exam that includes checking the person's nervous system and to see if there are changes in the pupil size, coordination, reflexes and thinking ability.
The test to be performed may include EEG or brain wave test, MRI of the brain and Head CT scan.
No treatment may be needed for those who had a mild head injury but are advised to still be aware because the symptoms can show up afterward. The doctor will explain to you how to manage any occurring headaches, how to treat other symptoms and etc.
If you have these following, you will likely need to stay in the hospital:
- More severe symptoms of a head injury
- Skull fracture
- Bleeding under the skull or in the brain
It may take days, weeks, or even months healing or recovering from a concussion and during that time you may:
- Have a hard time with tasks that need memory or concentration
- Have blurry vision at times
- Be withdrawn, easily upset, or confused
- Have mild headaches
- Be very tired
- Be less tolerant of noise
- Feel dizzy
The problems mentioned above may probably recover slowly so you may need help from people in your life for making important decisions.
Because seizures may arise after more severe head injuries, the person who have this may require taking anti-seizure medicines for a period of time.