Healthy Living

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

A concussion refers to a traumatic brain injury that is not very serious. The word has its origin from concutere, the Latin word for ‘violent shaking’. Concussions commonly occur during contact sports, recreation activities, accidents, injuries, and falls. Concussions are very common among children too.

As a result of concussion, you are bound to suffer from a few symptoms and the onset of these symptoms can be immediate or it can be after a while. It is vital that you seek out immediate medical attention once you develop these symptoms before they take a turn for the worse.

The most common cause for a concussion is a blow to the head. Although the brain is covered by a thick, protective skull and a cushioning fluid, the direct blow to the head violently shakes the head and brain. These jolts or ‘jarring’ can result in bruises and injuries to the brain. Nerves and blood vessels also may be affected during these blows. 

This is why it is important that you get a catscan as well as an MRI done once you have experienced some head related trauma. Chances are that you may have experienced a mild concussion blow and may even remain unaware to this moment that you have indeed suffered a concussion. Most often, patients are unaware that they had suffered a concussion until the symptoms start manifesting themselves, at which point, they would need to seek immediate medical attention before it gets any worse.

So chances are high that you may have already experienced some concussion to the head, especially if you are into contact sports. And if some of the symptoms listed below sound familiar, then it means that you are experiencing concussion related symptoms and need immediate medical attention.

Concussion injures the brain, but returns to normal with adequate rest and treatment. The signs and symptoms of concussions are often very subtle and hence difficult to diagnose. The symptoms may remain for days and weeks or may not even show up immediately but appear a few weeks post the incident. This is why you need to be careful once you have experienced any head trauma and if any of the symptoms listed below sound familiar or something that you may have experienced, then you need to seek immediate medical attention.

 The most common symptoms of this traumatic brain injury include:

  • Confusion or the inability to think straight, a feeling of being in a ‘daze’ – if you are feeling confused, unable to focus on even the smallest of tasks, then chances are that you are indeed suffering from a concussion related symptom. You need to seek out immediate medical attention before the symptoms get worse.
  • Clumsy movements – if you find that some of your movements appear disconnected or that you are slow to react, chances are that this could be on account of the head trauma that you had recently experienced. In other words, you are suffering from concussion and need medical attention right away.
  • Altered, slurred speech – This is one of the key symptoms of concussion related injuries and is indicative of severe concussion. And if you find yourself experiencing the same, then you need to check into the nearest emergency room and get yourself checked out so that the medical professionals can diagnose and treat your condition.
  • Dizziness, which is commonly referred to as ‘seeing stars’ – if you find yourself experiencing bouts of dizziness, post your head trauma, then it is likely that you are experiencing concussion. You need to consult your health care professional at the earliest, before the symptoms take a turn for the worse.
  • Nausea or vomiting – If you find that you are experiencing vomiting and nausea post your head trauma, and then you are suffering from concussion. You need to consult your doctor and get a few scans done to rule out most of the serious conditions. Your doctor would run a few tests in order to rule out some of the more serious conditions, and on confirmation of the diagnosis, he will prescribe a course of treatment to help relieve your condition.
  • Head ache – If you are suffering from severe headache post your head trauma, then it is very likely that you are suffering from concussion and need immediate medical attention. You need to seek out your doctor so that he can diagnose your condition and prescribe the right medication to alleviate your current symptoms
  • Difficulty in balancing – If you are not able to put on leg in front of the other or for that matter, able to balance yourself on standing up, then it is extremely likely that you are suffering from a concussion related injury. This is why it is important that you seek out medical attention once these symptoms start showing up before they get any worse.
  • Ringing in ears – Ringing in the ears is often indicative of concussion as well as several other health conditions. If you find yourself experiencing the same, then you need to seek out medical attention and get yourself checked out right away. The diagnosis can take a while since your doctor may have to run a few tests to rule out other health issues; on confirmation of your condition, he would then prescribe an effective course of treatment to help alleviate your condition.
  • Blurred vision or seeing flash lights – If you are experiencing blurred vision or are seeing flashes of light, then chances are that you are experiencing concussion. It is important that you consult your doctor at the earliest since concussion injuries if left untreated can take a turn for the worse.
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Temporary memory loss surrounding the event – If you are experiencing memory loss post your head trauma, then it is highly likely that you are experiencing concussion. Diagnosing concussion can take a while since your doctor would have to run several tests to rule out other condition which is why it is important that you seek out medical attention at the earliest and get the same treated as soon as possible.
  • Difficulty in concentration – if you are not able to even concentrate on the simplest of tasks and experience a loss of focus, after your head trauma, then it is extremely likely that you are experiencing concussion and need immediate treatment for the same. So do schedule an appointment with your doctor at the earliest so that he can treat you for the same.
  • Fatigue and sluggishness – If you are experiencing frequent bouts of fatigue and sluggishness along with listlessness, then chances are high that you are suffering from concussion. You can now move on to get yourself treated for the same by seeking out a medical consult at the earliest.

Some of the symptoms, like memory problems, behavioral changes, sleep problems, and disorders of smell and taste may develop after few hours or days of the injury or event.

One should get immediate medical attention if there is:

  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness – If you have experienced a loss of consciousness post your head trauma, then chances are high that you are suffering from concussion and need to get yourself treated for the same at the earliest. So the moment you experience this particular symptom, get yourself checked into the nearest emergency room for immediate medical attention.
  • Convulsion – If you have developed convulsions post your head trauma then you need to get yourself checked into the nearest emergency room, so that the doctors can scan and run their tests to diagnose your condition accurately. Since you had developed convulsions, it is  a serious condition and one where you need immediate treatment for the same.
  • Muscle weakness
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Problems in balancing

Concussions are common in people who have had neck and spine injuries as well. Hence one should be careful while moving people with head injury and concussion.

Only a healthcare professional can decide the seriousness of the injury and the type of treatment needed. So it is better to seek medical attention whenever there is a symptom of concussion. In most cases, this is a mild head injury and can be recovered easily.

While recovering from this traumatic head injury the person may:

  • Be upset or confused
  • Have difficulty in concentrating and memorising
  • Have headaches
  • Be sensitive to noise
  • Be tired