Mild concussions are common for those who participate in activities where head injuries are likely. In many cases, this condition is not dangerous, but it does require medical care to ensure that no excessive damage is done to the brain.
What Can Cause Concussion?
The term concussion is typically associated with an accident that caused the head or upper body to be violently shaken, such as a blow to the head. However, a concussion is technically brain injuries that results from these types of accidents. This type of brain injury can impact your concentration, memory, balance, judgment and coordination and can even cause headaches. A concussion causes injury to the brain that will need time to mend. In many cases, these injuries are mild and the patient is capable of a full recovery.
- Several activities or circumstances make you vulnerable to concussions like playing sports and other activities without adequate safety equipment available.
- Soldiers involved in active combat are also at high risk for suffering from concussions.
- Concussions are common when motor vehicle accidents are involved because of the high impact of these events.
- Children and seniors can suffer from concussions if they have a serious fall and hit their heads.
- Those who have had a concussion previously are also at a higher risk of suffering from a concussion again if they suffer an injury that impacts their heads.
Symptoms of Mild Concussion
After someone has suffered from a blow to the head or other similar injuries, it is important to know the signs of a concussion so you can evaluate what type of medical attention is needed.
- Headaches: One of the first symptoms that appear when someone is suffering from a concussion is a headache. The person may complain of a throbbing pain, or a heaviness that is similar to a migraine. In serious cases, the person may lose consciousness for up to 30 minutes.
- Temporary Memory Loss: A person suffering from a concussion may also be confused or suffer from temporary memory loss. They may be confused about the events leading up to the accident or have trouble remembering what happened that caused them this injury. This may lead to feelings of anxiety or distress as well.
- Dizziness: There may also be signs of dizziness or blurred vision shortly after a person has suffered a concussion. This can lead to nausea or a ringing in the ears as well, and in some cases the patient may slur their speech. People often describe this feeling as "seeing stars".
- Behavior Change: Sometime after the injury, patients may be irritable or cranky. Children may lose interest in their favorite toys or activities. This is often because those suffering from a concussion are sensitive to light and sound. It may take some time before the patient's balance fully recovers so they may be a bit unsteady on their feet. They may also suffer from sleep disturbances or have a change in their usual eating patterns while suffering from a concussion.
How to Soothe and Heal Concussions
Once it has been determined that the patient is not suffering from any more severe injuries as a result of their accidents, a medical professional can begin to determine whether or not the patient is suffering from a concussion:
- Your doctor will probably do a few examinations to check your memory, vision, hearing, concentration, balance, coordination, strength or sensation to help determine the extent of the damage done to the brain.
- In some more serious cases the doctor may call for a CT scan to help ensure that there is not excessive bleeding or damage inside the skull.
If a mild concussion is diagnosed, you should follow the treating tips listed below:
- The patient will probably be prescribed with medication like acetaminophen to help relieve their headache.
- Do not self-treat a concussion with other pain relievers such as aspirin because these can increase your risk of bleeding.
- If you are worried about swelling around the area where the injury occurred, treat the area with an ice pack.
- It is essential to rest and allow your brain to recover after suffering from a concussion. Do not perform any activities that require a great deal of concentration until the symptoms of the concussion begin to fade.
- If your child is suffering from a concussion, you may ask their teacher to give them a lighter load at school until they are feeling better.
- Similarly, if your child suffers a concussion while playing sports, ask the doctor for a schedule regarding when it is safe for them to go back to playing.