Top 10 Signs of a Concussion
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect the way your brain functions. A concussion can occur with a direct blow to the head, but can also occur after violent shaking of the upper body and head. In the US, most concussions occur as a result of motor vehicle crashes, bicycle injuries, and sports related injuries. Skiing, horseback riding, and football are the most common sports resulting in concussions.
These injuries can be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. However, most concussions occur without loss of consciousness making it more difficult to diagnose.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
1. Vomiting 6. Balance Problems
2. Dizziness 7. Memory Impairment
3. Fatigue 8. Concentration Problems
4. Headaches 9. Depression
5. Insomnia 10. Visual Disturbances
Most concussive symptoms resolve quickly and spontaneously. However, some patients experience prolonged symptoms.
When should I seek medical care?
Follow up with your doctor within one or two days after any head injury for a check up.
Emergency care should be sought if a patient is vomiting, lethargic, dizzy, experiencing a severe headache, experiencing changes in coordination, visual changes, had a seizure, or if the patient was unconscious for more than 30 seconds.
Athletes should not return to physical activity until they are symptom free and have been cleared by their doctor.
Sometimes, patients may experience post-concussive symptoms which typically take longer to resolve. They usually resolve on their own with physical and mental rest. Physical rest includes avoiding vigorous sports or physical exertion. Mental rest includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as texting, watching TV, reading , and schoolwork.
-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician