Hit Your Head Hard? Concussion Symptoms and Care
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Any acceleration that causes your brain tissues to hit inside the skull, can lead to a concussion. Some of the major causes are a blow to the head, fall, or any sports related injury that shakes the brain.
The brain is a very soft organ. It is surrounded by spinal fluid which gives it some cushion, and it is protected by your skull. Although the brain has a great deal of protection, it can still be injured if your head is hit hard enough. The most common causes of concussions are car accidents, bicycle accidents, fights, and falls. Many people who play contact sports are very susceptible to concussions, such as football and hockey players, skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, boxers, and fighters.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The symptoms that a person would experience depend on the severity of the concussion and the person’s baseline medical history. Some people don’t even know that they have a concussion if it is mild enough. You don’t need to have lost consciousness to have a concussion.
If you have a concussion severe enough to show symptoms, there are many that you can display. They are classified into four main categories:
Thinking and Remembering
Because your brain is where your thoughts and memories are created, a concussion can affect the way you think and remember. Some of the symptoms that you can experience from this category include:
- The inability to think clearly
- The inability to concentrate
- The inability to remember new information
- Feeling slowed down
- Trouble recognizing people and places
This type of injury can cause several physical symptoms. Some of these include:
- Blurry vision
- Fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Balance issues
- Lack of energy
- Excessive sleepiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
Emotions and Mood
A concussion can change your mood and cause emotional symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Sad and depressed
- Easily upset or angered
- Feeling of nervousness or anxiousness
- More emotional than usual
A concussion can have a negative effect on your sleep habits. This type of head injury can cause the following:
- Sleeping more than usual
- Sleeping less than usual
- Having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
Care After a Concussions
If you think that you may have a concussion, you should go to the hospital immediately for testing and observation. You should also have someone to care for you at home. It can take a few days or several weeks to recover fully from a concussion. While you are healing, there are several things that you can do to get better.
- Get plenty of rest. You need to rest your body and your brain if you want a quick recovery.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep at night, and rest during the day.
- Avoid any activities that could result in a head injury. It can be extremely dangerous to get a head injury soon after you have suffered a concussion.
- Avoid any mentally challenging activities, such as going to work going to school, using electronics.
- Avoid driving a vehicle, riding a bike, and operating heavy machinery until your doctor gives you the green light.
- Use an ice pack for the swelling
- Use pain medication as prescribed by your doctor.
Concussions can be very serious. It is important that you get the proper care to increase the likelihood of full recovery, quickly. It is important to follow you doctor’s directions after you have suffered a concussion.