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5 Signs of a Concussion — And What to Do Next

Last updated: Jan 20, 2022 Post in Family Practice in Brooklyn by Century Medical & Dental Clinic.

Do not take your head injury or blow to your head lightly, as it may result in a concussion and leave you unable to participate in daily life activities as before. Common symptoms of concussion include headaches, dizziness, imbalance, inability to concentrate, and other mental and physical disturbances that need immediate medical attention. The best family physicians at the Century Medical and Dental Center look after your health and ensure you get the best help if you have suffered an injury and are not feeling well. The expert doctors in NY use the most advanced diagnostic tools and equipment to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend targeted treatment plans that provide quick and effective relief.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. Any violent blow to the head can cause the brain to move around the skull and get injured. Brain injuries can result in bruising, bleeding, swelling, blood vessel and nerve damage, and impaired brain function.

Sometimes a direct blow to the head, a fall, sports accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, and work-related injury or fight can also cause a concussion. Many people fail to recognize symptoms of a concussion and do not seek medical attention after a traumatic experience. It is significant to understand that a concussion can be a grave injury. Also, it can have lasting consequences if it is left untreated. Research has revealed that sustaining even a single concussion can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
Concussion

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Here are some telltale signs that you should be aware of after you have been in an accident.

5 Signs of a Concussion
There are several signs and symptoms of a concussion. They can occur right after an accident, ranging from mild to severe. It is essential to know that symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks after an accident. You must monitor yourself carefully over the next several weeks if you have been in an accident and hit your head.

A concussion can be serious, and you must seek immediate medical attention to avoid life-threatening complications.

Signs of a concussion include:

Disturbed mental condition

You may feel confused, disoriented, and less alert than usual. In addition to this, you may feel mentally foggy or just off right after sustaining a head injury.

Headache

Headache is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion. Many people report headaches following a blow or accident, while others develop headaches within a few hours or days after the impact.

Amnesia

Amnesia is a commonly experienced symptom of concussion. You may not be able to remember the event before or after an accident or what happened to you.

Dizziness

You may feel dizzy and out of balance following an accident or blow to the head. Some people also have blurry or double vision or see stars after a fall or accident.

Lethargy

You may feel sluggish, drowsy, or lethargic right after the accident and the feeling may last for a few days till you start getting better.

Some symptoms of concussion may indicate a brain injury that requires immediate medical attention. If you experience nausea, vomiting, weakness, significant confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty walking, and your headaches continue to worsen, you must seek medical help. A delay in medical assistance may lead to seizures or loss of consciousness and turn life-threatening if you are not careful.

Delayed Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

A few symptoms of concussion begin to appear immediately after the accident or the impact, but some symptoms may not appear until hours or days later. This is because you may not know how severe the injury is at first. It is perfectly normal to experience symptoms during the recovery period, but you should consult your primary care doctor if the symptoms continue to worsen or you are not getting any better.

You may experience the following symptoms during the recovery period:

  • Headaches;
  • Irritability or mood changes;
  • Light or noise sensitivity;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Fatigue.

Warning signs of a serious brain injury:

  • Pain – constant pain or recurring headache;
  • Motor dysfunction – inability to control or coordinate motor function or balance disturbance;
  • Sensory issues – changes in the ability to hear, taste, or see, dizziness, hypersensitivity to light or sound;
  • Cognitive dysfunction – shortened attention span, easy distraction, overstimulation by the environment, difficulty in focusing on tasks or following directions or understanding information, feeling of disorientation, and other neuropsychological deficiencies;
  • Speech difficulty – problems in finding or using the right words, expressing words or thoughts, and speech problems.

What to Do Next – Diagnosing and Treating Concussion

Concussion
Concussion

Head injuries should not be taken lightly, and you must seek medical attention after sustaining a blow to your head, even if you don’t feel bad after an accident or fall. A healthcare professional can determine how complicated the concussion is and what to do next depending on your condition.

An expert doctor can diagnose the extent of your injury by performing a neurological exam and cognitive testing to evaluate your brain function and motor skills. The doctor may also recommend imaging exams like a CT scan to check for internal bleeding, swelling, or fractures in the skull that may turn life-threatening if they are not detected and treated timely.

Concussion usually heals completely within a few weeks, but it is necessary to follow the doctor’s advice and give yourself ample time to recover. You may continue to experience symptoms for several days and even during the treatment and recovery period. Do not push yourself unless you are recovered and do not suffer from any ill effects.

Treatment and Recovery

Doctors usually recommend the following to aid the recovery process and ease the symptoms of a concussion:

Lots of rest

Physical and mental rest is necessary during the first few days following your accident. Doctors do not advise complete best rest but ask you to stay away from mental and physical exercises that tire you out. You must avoid mentally stimulating activities like watching TV, reading, texting, playing video games, or using a computer. You should also stay away from playing sports, participating in vigorous physical activity, and driving.

You may have to take a few days off from work, shorten workdays, or need more breaks during the day to rest, as this is the best way to relieve concussion symptoms.

Gradual return to normal activities

With your physician’s advice and betterment in your condition, you can gradually return to normal activities. You can start adding mentally engaging activities and light exercise to your routine. If you experience worsening symptoms during the activities, it is best to slow down, rest, and call your doctor for further guidance.

Medications

You may experience headaches for a few days or even weeks. Over-the-counter pain medications can help to relieve the pain.

You should avoid sports or vigorous exercise until your symptoms have fully subsided and your doctor has given you a clean bill of health. Returning to sports before you are ready can increase the risk of sustaining a further head injury. Suffering a second concussion before the first one has healed can result in life-threatening consequences.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider?

You must call your primary care doctor if you have been in a traumatic accident and suffered an injury to the head. He will evaluate your condition to determine if you are suffering from a concussion or some other medical condition and rank or grade the severity of your condition based on the symptoms you are experiencing. Expert doctors can treat traumatic injuries like concussions, whiplash, fractures, and soft tissue damage most effectively.

The experienced and board-certified doctors at the Century Medical and Dental Center provide the best care if you have a concussion. They come up with the best course of action to deal with your condition and help you recover from your concussion as soon as possible. The top family physicians recommend lifestyle changes and home remedies to lessen the impact of the traumatic brain injury to get you back to your normal routine as soon as possible.

SHARE THIS POST Page Updated on Jan 20, 2022 by Dr. Dvorkina (Primary Care Doctor) of Century Medical & Dental Center
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