A concussion by definition is a traumatic injury that affects brain function. The effects of a concussion are mostly temporary, but they can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination.
Concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head, but can happen with violent shaking of the head, and shaking of the upper body as well. Some concussions will cause you to lose consciousness, but most of them do not. The most common cause of a concussion is a fall, but they are very common for people who play contact sports, such as football or soccer. Most people recover fully after a concussion.
Our brains have the consistency of gelatin, and it’s cushioned from everyday bumps and jolts by cerebrospinal fluid inside your skull. Any violent blow to your head, neck, or upper body can cause your brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inner walls of your skull. Sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head, caused by actions such as a car crash, can also cause brain injury.
These injuries affect brain function, usually for a brief period, resulting in signs and symptoms of concussion. This type of brain injury may lead to bleeding in or around your brain, causing symptoms such as prolonged drowsiness and confusion. These symptoms may develop immediately or later. That’s why anyone who has experienced a brain injury needs monitoring in the hours following and emergency medical care if symptoms worsen.
The symptoms and signs of a concussion can be very subtle and may not even show up immediately. Some symptoms can last for days, weeks, or even longer. The common symptoms after a concussion are headache, loss of memory, and confusion,. Usually with the memory loss, the even that caused the injury is forgotten.
Physical signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
Ringing in the ears
Fatigue or drowsiness
Other signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
Amnesia involving traumatic event
Dizziness or “seeing stars”
Here are some tips that can help prevent or minimize the risk of a head injury:
Wearing protective gear during sports and other recreational activities – Make sure the equipment fits properly, is well maintained, and worn correctly.
Buckling your seatbelt – Wearing a seatbelt may prevent serious injury including head injury, during an automobile accident
Making your home safe – Keep your home well lit and the floors free of anything that can cause anyone to trip and fall
Exercising regularly – Exercise regularly to strengthen your leg muscles and improve balance