While nobody seems to agree on a single definition of concussion, it is usually described as a disruption of the brain’s balance due to a blow to the head. It is also possible for a concussion to happen due to violent shaking of the head and upper torso. Often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury, there can be many reasons for a concussion to occur; a car accident, a sudden fall or even a sports injury. The recovery time depends on the extent of the concussion and the general health of the patient.
When to Seek Treatment?
Even though it might not be apparent that concussion has taken place following a traumatic event, you should seek immediate medical attention instead of waiting to see if the dizziness or a headache will dissipate by itself. In many people, the symptoms disappear after a day or so after the injury, however, some people may be so badly injured without their knowing it that they can have bleeding or even a blood clot in the brain that can be potentially fatal if concussion treatment is not administered in time. Even though injuries to the brain are not uncommon, it can be quite difficult to diagnose a concussion, and doctors have to rely on a number of symptoms that may indicate trauma.
Concussion manifests itself in a variety of symptoms such as brief loss of consciousness, loss of memory regarding the event, feeling of confusion or dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, extra sensitivity to noise or bright lights, tiredness and irritability, disturbance in sleep patterns and even seizure. You may experience difficulty in thinking clearly and remembering newly learned information.
Children need to be examined for any swelling in the scalp and any deviation from their normal behavior. They may tend to cry more, become upset more easily, lose their appetite, have trouble in balancing and walking, become unable to pay attention, and even forget things that they have very recently learned. These symptoms not only vary significantly in severity but also in the duration for which they will be displayed. It is best to consult a doctor in case any symptoms are noticed following a trauma.
The best way of treating a concussion is to take rest. Most people recover fully in a day or two but if you notice the recurrence of any of the symptoms following an activity, you should desist and extend your recuperation period. Try and get plenty of sleep and follow a relaxed daytime schedule. Avoid physical or mental activities that are demanding; you may need to alter your daily schedule in such a way that you eliminate stress. Avoid operating machinery or driving vehicles till your doctor says it is okay. Avoid alcohol or any other drugs that are not prescribed.
There is no exact way of diagnosing concussion and its extent. If you display any of the typical symptoms, consult a doctor who will carry out the appropriate tests and advise you on the best recovery procedures.
Author Bio: Susan Armstrong is a senior nurse in a leading private hospital. She attends regularly to children requiring concussion treatment following sports mishaps.