Concussion

When your head receives a severe blow, it can injure the brain and this condition is referred to as Concussion. It happens usually after an accident and you may often notice visible symptoms immediately or at a later stage depending on the intensity of damage. However, there are ways to prevent them by using proper headgear and practising safe techniques while indulging in sports activities and driving. However, injury can even happen when you lose balance and injure your head in the process. You can approach a doctor immediately and make sure that you follow the suggestions seriously as head injury can be permanent in many cases. By taking treatment at the right time, you will be able to prevent further damage and you can carry on with your everyday activities without any external support.

Types of Concussion

Grade 1: When the injury is mild in intensity, it is categorized as Grade 1 level injury and you can notice a headache and lack of balance as common symptoms. Even the symptoms tend to disappear after an hour and the person will usually be normal after a few weeks.

Grade 2 : When there is a moderate level injury, it can even lead to memory loss and the intensity will usually be more in this case. The effects will last for many weeks and it can cause dizziness and blurred vision. You need to take proper treatment in this situation as the damage can also be permanent in some cases.

Grade 3 : This is considered a serious injury and it has long-term side effects. It is usually accompanied by memory loss and inability to concentrate for a long duration. When the injury is severe, you should never neglect the problem and always follow the suggestions of your doctor to overcome the problem.

Symptoms of Concussion

It is slightly difficult to identify the symptoms in children as they may not be able to clearly describe them. However, you can watch out for excessive crying or sudden change in sleeping and eating habits and other symptoms. They may also lose interest in playing and get tired easily in quick time when they are having a concussion.

When it comes to adults, the symptoms of concussion can be easily identified. When you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor and get yourself thoroughly examined to determine the cause of the problem.

-  A general feeling of pressure in the head region accompanied by a headache. In some cases, people even complain about dizziness and ringing in the ears.

-  When people become unconscious after a traumatic event, it should not be taken lightly and medical attention is needed even if they recover after a few minutes.

-  In some cases, they may not be able to remember the event properly and sound confused about the entire incident.

-  You should also watch out for slurred speech and improper response to common questions about their personal details.

-  While these symptoms are immediately visible, some of them may appear later and you should note them carefully and inform your doctor about these symptoms.

-  Issues related to memory and concentration may appear even after many days after the traumatic incident and there can be some major changes in behaviour.

-  If you notice that the person is suddenly sensitive to noise and light, you should consider this as a symptom of a concussion.

-  Some people even have problems with smelling and tasting regular things in everyday life after the traumatic event.

-  General disturbance in sleep can also be considered as a symptom if it is accompanied by other problems.

Causes of Concussion

The primary cause happens to be a brain injury. This can happen due to an accident or violent shaking of the head. The brain hits the inner walls of the skull when it is given a huge blow and this causes injury. When it is injured, several functions can get affected temporarily and at times even permanently, depending upon the intensity of the injury. In some cases, there may be bleeding which is internal and proper medical examination is necessary to identify the problem. It can also become fatal when proper medical treatment is not provided at the right time. For this reason, you should never neglect brain injury and always approach your doctor after any symptoms arise due to a traumatic incident. These are the major causes of concussion in adults and you should also be watchful about children as they may not display proper symptoms in every case.

Diagnosis of Concussion

- Neurological tests : this is a simple evaluation process that tries to detect the damage done to the brain after an injury. You will be tested for your hearing abilities along with vision and coordination abilities. If you are losing balance or not having proper reflexes like before, the doctors will come to the conclusion that some damage has happened and they will go with further examination to determine the extent of damage to the brain.

- Cognitive Tests : The brain is responsible for issues related to concentration and this can easily get affected by an injury. For this reason, doctors usually conduct several tests to ascertain the concentration abilities and memory aspects of the brain. If you are not able to recall information properly about regular things related to your life, it can be concluded that there is some amount of damage done to the brain.

- Imaging tests : A regular CT scan is used to determine the nature of the injury and this will usually be performed immediately after you approach the doctor. In this situation, the sooner you get the test done, the better it is as it will give accurate results. Along with this, even the MRI scan is used to get detailed information about the injury and this will help the doctors to proceed with the treatment.

In most cases, they may go for similar tests after a couple of days to notice any difference in results. Remember that some symptoms may not appear immediately and they can appear even after a few weeks after the injury. In this situation, depending on the results obtained by the earlier tests, the doctors will put you on observation for a certain duration to confirm the level of injury. In this way, a complete diagnosis of concussion is carried out to determine the extent of the injury.

Prevention of Concussion

-  Concussion usually occurs due to brain injury after a traumatic incident like an accident. In this situation, it makes sense to wear a seat belt when you are travelling in a four-wheeler. Similarly, you should also wear a helmet when you are using a two-wheeler as this can protect your brain during an accident.

-  This is especially needed for people participating in professional sports activities as the risk of getting injured is very high in such cases. Always follow safety norms related to sports activities and wear protective headgear.

-  It is important to protect children when they are playing around and you should take care even when they are playing at home. Make sure that they are under proper supervision and remove harmful objects that can come in their way.

-  Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly helps to strengthen the brain and the overall body balance will be in good order even in old age. In this way, you will not fall easily and this helps to avoid injury during everyday activities.

-  Finally, it is important to spread awareness about the prevention of concussion as this can go a long way in securing their health. Make sure that you provide first aid at the earliest and watch out for the early symptoms in case of an accident. This will help the doctors to analyze the situation properly and provide suitable treatment at the earliest to the injured person.

Treatment for Concussion

-  You need to stay away from physical activities that push your limits for a long duration after a serious brain injury.

-  You should never take too much tension and give appropriate rest to your brain.

-  When you notice any increase in symptoms after participating in your everyday work activities, you should take a break as this can lead to other complications in the future.

-  Your doctor can give medication to control the pain in the initial stages and this will be stopped after a few weeks.

-  Once the symptoms have reduced, the doctors will examine your brain again to assess the developments.

-  You need to follow up for many months and even years depending on the intensity of injury to the brain.

-  Always follow the guidelines of your doctor and never exceed your physical capacity as it can put a strain on the brain.

-  These are the common steps followed in the treatment of concussion and it varies depending on the nature and level of injury.

Complications of Concussion

Depending on the intensity of damage done to the brain, there can be several complications of concussion and your doctors will carefully monitor your health condition when you are regular with medical checkups.

-  Risk of infection : This is a common complication as the skull can get fractured in some cases and it allows growth of bacteria in the wounds. It is important to take good care of your health after a head injury and you should never allow the wounds to get infected.

-  Post-concussion syndrome : In the event of severe damage, the complications can be serious and it can extend for many years after the injury. Common problems include dizziness and headache combined with a feeling of nausea. Some people also experience tinnitus which is the feeling of sound coming from the body. Other people may also experience memory problems and an inability to concentrate for a long time.

-  Coma : In severe injuries, some people even go into a state of coma where there is impaired consciousness. This can last for a few weeks to a few years depending on the intensity of damage done to the brain.

-  Epilepsy : in some cases, the risk of developing epilepsy increases drastically after a major injury to the brain. It can last only for a few days or continue to stay forever depending on the nature of the injury.

Other complications include changes in hormone levels as the brain will not be able to regulate the thyroid functioning in the body. Similarly, some people lose the ability to smell and taste items properly after an injury to the brain.

Myths about Concussion

Myth #4: Symptoms are immediately visible :

This is a myth and you may notice symptoms even several weeks after the injury is done to the brain. In this way, you should never go by the immediate symptoms alone and always wait for a few weeks to determine the extent of the injury done to the brain.

Myth #4: CT scan shows everything about damage :

This may not be entirely true especially when you take the CT scan immediately after the injury. In many cases, symptoms begin to appear at a later stage after a few days and you should go for a follow-up scan after a few days as per the suggestion of your doctor.

Myth #4: Wearing headgear offers sure shot protection :

while headgear can reduce the chances of getting injured during an accident, it does not offer guaranteed protection against concussion. Remember that brain injury can happen even due to the vigorous shaking of the head and it is not possible to protect yourself completely just by using a helmet.

Myth #4: Concussion will not reappear later :

in some cases, the damage done to the brain may be permanent and you will notice symptoms when you get back to normal work. This usually happens with athletes who return to professional sports after a serious injury. If the symptoms appear after you return to work, you should stop them immediately and seek medical help. In many cases, you may have to stop participating in active sports after a severe brain injury.

Conclusion

Depending on the nature of the injury, your doctor will prescribe proper treatment and you should follow it strictly as the head injury is a serious issue. It can lead to several complications at a later stage and you may have to stay away from active sports and rigorous physical activities after a serious head injury. However, with proper treatment, you will be able to lead your life without any troubles.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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