A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. It can occur when the head and brain are rapidly accelerated or decelerated, or when an object strikes the head. The effects of a concussion may be subtle and temporary, or they may last for weeks or months. Treatment will vary depending on how severe the injury is and how long it lasts; however, most concussions resolve on their own without any treatment at all states Dr John Manzella.
Definition of Concussion
A concussion is a type of brain injury and it is caused by a bump to the head. This can happen when you fall or get hit in the head. It can also happen when you are playing sports or doing something else that causes your head to move quickly back and forth (like riding a bike).
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
When you have a concussion, your symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision (like looking through fog).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Balance problems.
- Sensitivity to light and noise (for example, being sensitive to light when you’re in bed).
If you have any of these symptoms after an injury, they could be because of the concussion itself or other injuries that happened at the same time as the concussion (such as a broken bone).
How are concussions diagnosed?
There are several ways to diagnose a concussion and determine the severity of its symptoms. If you have suffered a head injury, be sure to get immediate medical attention.
- A physical examination can help doctors assess overall health and determine whether there are any signs of trauma or other injuries. This examination may also reveal signs of brain damage that would indicate the need for further testing.
- A neurological examination is used to assess mental function and balance, along with motor skills like walking and talking. This test can be performed in person or by observing videos of you doing simple tasks such as reciting the alphabet backward or standing on one foot for 30 seconds without falling over (the latter known as “the Balance Error Scoring System,” or BESS).
How is it treated?
If you’ve been diagnosed with a concussion, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders and take the time needed to recover. Resting is one of the best ways to ensure that your symptoms subside as quickly as possible.
While resting, you should also take care of yourself by icing any areas that may be swollen or painful—for example, if you hit your head on something hard during a fall. It’s also helpful if you apply heat after an ice treatment so that the blood flow in your brain can be encouraged back into balance.
There are several different medications that can help relieve some of the symptoms associated with concussions when they first appear; these should only be taken under supervision from a health care provider because they may cause side effects if used incorrectly or too frequently over an extended period of time.
Concussions are serious injuries that can affect your quality of life for months or years to come. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention if you think you may have a concussion.