Concussion

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What is a concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and may be caused by either a direct blow to the head, face, and neck or elsewhere on the body that causes a whiplash force. Symptoms from a concussion may present soon after the injury and you may become aware of symptoms days or weeks later.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Concussion symptoms are centered on the following four major areas, but keep in mind that you can have different combinations of these symptoms and that you can experience them in different ways from others.

 Physical symptoms of a concussion

The physical symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Visual issues
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

 Cognitive symptoms of a concussion

The cognitive symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Confusion
  • Delayed verbal or motor responses
  •  emotional symptoms of a concussion

    The emotional symptoms of a concussion include:

    • Irritability
    • Sadness or depression
    • Anxiety or nervousness

     sleep-related symptoms of a concussion

    Sleep-related symptoms of a concussion include:

    • Increased or decreased amounts of sleep
    • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • Drowsiness or lethargy
    • Changes in your sleep cycle

     post-concussion syndrome

    Post-concussion syndrome is typically defined as concussion symptoms that last for greater than a month after the initial head injury. The symptoms can include chronic persistent headaches, personality changes, and academic challenges.

     second impact

    Second impact syndrome can occur when an athlete returns to their sport too early after suffering from an initial head injury (concussion). The brain is more vulnerable to injury if the athlete is still recovering from a concussion and a second impact can cause irreversible damage. The brain’s ability to self-regulate is damaged, which results in increased cerebral blood volume. The pressure in the brain increases rapidly causing brain death in a very short time, and because brain death is so rapid with second impact syndrome, it has a high fatality rate in young athletes.

     what should I do

    You should see your doctor after a head injury if you have any of the symptoms listed above. It’s especially important to see your doctor immediately or to go to the emergency room, especially if you have severe headaches, repeated vomiting, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in your arms and legs, or an increased amount of confusion or sleepiness.