What is a concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain that is caused by an impact to the head. This kind of an impact to the head can occur from a fall, a crash, or a blow to the head. Most people who have experienced a concussion have a good recovery from the symptoms they experience at the time of the injury. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. Recovery from the symptoms of a concussion may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.”

How do I know if I have a concussion?

A brain injury like a concussion can affect someone in any of four important ways:

·       Cognitive. Any difficulty in thinking, focusing, or remembering.

·       Physical. Headache, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and fatigue may all be experienced with a concussion.

·       Emotional. Irritability, melancholy, anxiety, or feeling overly emotional can be signs of a traumatic brain injury like a concussion.

·       Sleep. Feeling more sleepy, or less sleepy, than usual or difficulty falling asleep may be  indications of a concussion.

Some of these symptoms can appear immediately after the injury, or they may take time to emerge, sometimes days or months later when a person starts to function at a normal rate again. The signs of a concussion may be difficult to detect or they can be profound and may require immediate medical attention.


When should I see a doctor for a concussion?

A traumatic brain injury like a concussion may cause, in rare cases, a blood clot to form in the brain, thus applying pressure to the brain tissue. The CDC recommends that, if you experience any of these symptoms, you seek medical treatment right away.

·       Headache that gets worse and does not go away.

·       Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.

·       Repeated vomiting or nausea.

·       Slurred speech.

·       Marked drowsiness.

·       Convulsions or seizures

·       Loss of consciousness

How do I get better after a concussion?

Rest is an important prescription for anyone suffering a concussion. Resting helps the brain to heal and it takes time. Plenty of sleep is an easy recommendation to take. Some other are:

·       Avoid activities that are thought intensive, physically demanding, or that may lead to another concussion.

·       Consult with your health care provider about returning to work and your level of activity, both mental and physical.

·       Avoid alcohol until your doctor tells you that you are well enough to imbibe.

·       Don’t try to remember everything. Help yourself out by writing stuff down that needs to be kept track of.

·       Do one thing at a time and do not multitask.

·       Avoid staring at a TV or computer screen for too long a time.

.       Be careful when flying; some folks may re-experience symptoms while flying in a pressurized environment.