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Signs and Symptoms of the 3 Different Grades of Concussion

A concussion is a serious condition that can affect the health and function of brain cells and requires proper treatment to prevent any lasting damage. Consult an experienced and board-certified neurologist at the Century Medical and Dental Center to learn about the signs and symptoms of concussion and how to take care of yourself during this time to ensure complete recovery. The top brain doctor will determine the extent of injury to your head or brain, grade your concussion and provide necessary treatment to prevent worsening of symptoms. The brain is an important organ, so making sure that it recovers fully from a concussion and continues to function normally is the smartest thing to do.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury that causes the brain to move suddenly and quickly inside your head. Concussions are usually caused by a sudden blow or bump to the head. Sometimes violently shaking the head and upper body can also result in a concussion.

It is the most common and the least serious of all traumatic brain injuries. Concussion should not be taken lightly as the brain is physically shaken and moved briefly out of its normal positioning. It can affect the full and proper functioning of the brain and even cause some lasting damage in the absence of medical care. In some cases, the signs and symptoms of a concussion may not appear until hours or days after the injury.

What Causes Concussions?

Most people suffer concussions as a result of sports and recreational activities. Other causes include car and bicycle accidents, work-related injuries, falls, and fights. Keeping an eye on the signs and symptoms of concussion can help look for prompt treatment and recover fully from the injury. The effects of concussion including, imbalance, memory problems, concentration, and headache, are usually temporary and go away with a little care and rest.

Concussions can be tricky as sometimes it is not possible to determine if you are actually suffering from one, particularly in the case of a low-grade concussion. Learning about its signs and symptoms and different grades can help define your condition and specify the best treatment and care.

The Concussion Grading System

Signs and Symptoms of the 3 Different Grades of Concussion
Signs and Symptoms of the 3 Different Grades of Concussion
According to neurologists, no two concussions are the same. Every concussion patient has a different experience with their condition.

Concussions are distinguished based on:

  • Their symptoms;
  • The degree of concussion;
  • Recovery time;
  • Their long-term effects.

Healthcare experts focus on the symptoms and the degree of concussion as it plays a significant role in recovery and treatment. The degree of concussion focuses on what happened at the time of injury and beyond. When a concussion incurs, the immediate impact and the duration can vary greatly.

There are three different grades of concussion, each with its signs and symptoms. Understanding their signs can help evaluate your condition after any incident that involves a sudden shake or impact of the head and seek early medical attention. The degree of concussion is determined by the grading system generally accepted by doctors around the world to gauge the extent of injury and healing time.

The concussion grading system goes as follows:

  • Grade 1 concussion – mild symptoms;
  • Grade 2 concussion – moderate symptoms;
  • Grade 3 concussion – severe symptoms.

Signs of Grade 1 Concussion

Symptoms of Grade 1 concussion are usually low-grade and mild. They may include:

  • Headache;
  • Difficulty in focusing;
  • Memory loss;
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea.

You can get back to your normal activities within a few days following a Grade 1 concussion once the symptoms have fully passed. As this type of concussion is considered mild, it does not lead to unconsciousness. Car accidents and sports accidents can result in these symptoms.

Signs of Grade 2 Concussion

This type of concussion is mild-grade and moderate. It may be similar to Grade 1 concussion, but it usually involves a brief loss of consciousness that makes it a serious matter. A loss of consciousness may occur for at least a minute but less than five minutes. Depending on the level of brain injury, you must get medical assistance right away.

Symptoms of Grade 2 concussion include:

  • Brief amnesia;
  • Ringing in the ears;
  • Irritability.

Grade 2 concussions require many days of rest before you can resume your normal activities.

Signs of Grade 3 Concussion

It is a high-grade, severe condition in which you lose consciousness for more than five minutes. The symptoms can last for a week before they begin to lessen, and you may need to take medications to deal with them. If you are not careful and seek immediate medical attention for a Grade 3 concussion, you are at risk of permanent brain damage.

Symptoms of Grade 3 concussion include:

  • Speech difficulty;
  • Amnesia for more than 24 hours;
  • Vomiting;
  • Seeing stars.

The symptoms of Grade 3 concussion last for a considerable length of time, before they begin to improve and subside.

When to Seek Medical Help for Concussion

Seek emergency medical help if you have experienced a head injury and suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting;
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds;
  • Headache that continues to worsen with time;
  • Fluid or blood discharge from nose or ears;
  • Visual or eye disturbance such as enlarged pupils or pupils of unequal sizes;
  • Non-stop ringing in the ears;
  • Weakens in the body, especially arms and legs;
  • Paleness for more than an hour;
  • Behavioral changes;
  • Confusion or disorientation such as difficulty in recognizing people or places;
  • Problems with mental and physical coordination;
  • Lack of balance resulting in stumbling or clumsiness;
  • Seizures or convulsions;
  • Lasting or recurring dizziness;
  •  Symptoms that worsen with time;
  • Large bumps or bruises on the head.

These signs indicate a dangerous condition and must be checked by a qualified and trained neurologist as soon as possible. The specialist can evaluate your symptoms and determine how severe your concussion is and what type of treatment would work best for you.

He will ask about the type of injury you have suffered and how and evaluate your memory and concentration skills. Doctors also test coordination and reflexes, which are functions of the central nervous system to determine the extent of the injury, and recommend the best treatment. In severe cases, the doctor may also recommend a CT scan or an MRI to rule out bleeding or other brain injuries.

At Century Medical and Dental Center, the top neurologists in NY use the most proven approaches to understand the extent of the injury and its level of seriousness. As every concussion is different, the doctors investigate and assess the patient’s condition and develop a customized plan of treatment to provide relief.

Treatment and Medical Care For Concussion

Regardless of your mild concussion symptoms, visit a doctor before taking any medication or getting back to your routine activities. Patients suffering from moderate to severe concussions require special care and monitoring to ensure there is no lasting brain damage or effects. Treatment for a concussion depends on the severity of the symptoms and your condition. In some cases, you may need surgery or other medical procedures if you suffer bleeding or swelling of the brain, or a life-threatening injury to the brain which cannot be treated with medications. Most causes of concussions do not require surgery or any specific medical treatment.

Expert neurologists at the Century Medical and Dental Center are dedicated to their work. They offer the best care to improve your quality of life after going through a concussion and help you participate in activities as before. You can look forward to top-quality post-traumatic care in case of neurological conditions and brain injuries, as these problems can be life-threatening if they are not addressed timely. The experienced and highly trained doctors focus on patients who require continued care and monitoring to get them on the road to swift and complete recovery.

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