What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild brain injury that is caused due to a violent jolt, bump, or blow to the head. A concussion can happen to anyone from an infant to an elderly person. It alters the mental state and can also lead to unconsciousness.
There are different types of concussion and is graded as:
In most cases, people who suffer from a concussion can return to normal physical activity after some amount of rest. The duration taken to return to normalcy varies from person to person and is dependent on the severity of the condition.
Concussions are not easy to diagnose since it cannot be seen as there is no visible cut or bleeding on the head. Some of the symptoms last for a few seconds and others last for days or even weeks after the head injury. The signs of it can be physical, mental, or emotional and may show the following signs:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Feeling dizzy or dazed
- Clumsiness or sluggishness
- Vision is blurred
- Loss of balance
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Loss of memory and concentration problems
- Personality changes
- Behavioural changes
If you or someone you know has had a head injury and has some of the above symptoms see a concussion doctor immediately for treatment.
Who is at Risk?
The concussion risk factors are high in people:
- Under the age of 4 who are more prone to falls and bumps are at high risk.
- Elderly people who are more likely to have accidental falls due to body imbalance are at risk.
- Young adults and adolescents who are likely to have sports-related injuries or accidents on bikes.
- People who are undergoing physical abuse
- People involved in car or bike accidents
- People exposed to explosive devices like the police, and military personnel.
- People who have suffered a concussion earlier can have another incident for even a minor bump.
A concussion happens due to trauma or injury to the head due to falling or getting hit. Though people assume concussion involves losing consciousness, it is not always the case. There may not be any signs like bleeding or cuts but concussion can happen. The brain tissues are soft and are surrounded by a cushion in the form of cerebrospinal fluid and a hard exterior called the skull. When there is a bump or a hit, the brain bounces and collides with the skull leading to chemical changes in the brain. That causes the brain to not function normally for some time due to the symptoms of concussion.
How is a Concussion Diagnosed?
A visit to the health care professional can help decide if the concussion is serious and whether there is a need for treatment. If the symptoms are of grades 1 and 2 then you can return to normal work after symptoms are gone. For grade 3 a doctor conducts the following concussion diagnosis:
- In case the symptoms point to more serious conditions then a visit to a neurotrauma doctor will be necessary. The doctor performs a physical examination and may order an MRI scan or a CT scan as part of a concussion test to check for internal injuries.
- If the patient is suffering from seizures an electroencephalogram is performed.
- An eye test is conducted to see if there are any vision changes, light sensitivities, etc.
How is a Concussion Treated?
Concussion treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms.
For milder symptoms like headaches, the doctor may recommend pain relievers as medicine for concussion. The doctor is likely to order plenty of rest and also to avoid participating in strenuous activities like cardio exercises or sports.
If the symptoms are severe and if the test results show that there is bleeding, swelling, or injury to the brain there may be a need for surgery. But in most cases, there is no need for surgery, observation is the key.
Kids and adults alike are likely to suffer from concussions due to accidental falls and head injuries. Our doctors at Cure.fit are available for video consultations for concussion cure if you see symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
How can Concussion be Prevented?
The answer to the question of how can you prevent a concussion is tricky as concussions happen accidentally and unexpectedly. But there are some precautions that can be taken to reduce the chances of severe brain injury. They are:
- Wearing protective gear like headgear, mouth, and eye guards while playing high physical contact games.
- Ensure that the protective gear fits properly so that its use is effective.
- Wear a seatbelt while in a car and wear a helmet while driving bikes to prevent whiplash injury.
- Do not get into fights with people as it can result in head injuries.