How to Know If You Have a Concussion
After an accident of any kind, whether a car wreck or a fall, a concussion is a possibility. That’s why it’s important to understand how to know if you have a concussion.
Head injuries can have serious consequences and may lead to severe problems. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion and understand when a visit to the emergency room is necessary.
Concussions are a relatively common type of brain injury, but their seriousness may not be fully appreciated. When left untreated or undetected, a concussion can lead to more severe complications and even re-injury. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of a concussion and understand when it is necessary to seek medical attention at the nearest emergency room.
Use the following information to learn more.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is typically considered mild. Often, it is caused by a forceful impact to the head, such as a punch, hit, or contact during sports.
However, it is also possible for a concussion to occur as a result of an injury elsewhere on the body, such as whiplash. Whiplash can cause the head and neck to jerk forward with enough force to cause a concussion.
How can I know whether I have a concussion?
While it may be possible to self-diagnose a concussion in some cases, certain symptoms may be mild or resemble those of other conditions. It is important to understand how to identify a concussion and take steps to prevent further complications, as behaviors such as returning to physical activity too soon can increase the risk of re-injury.
Common signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of memory
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
Contrary to popular belief, loss of consciousness does not always occur with a concussion. Additionally, symptoms may not appear immediately and can manifest gradually over time.
What to Do If You Have a Concussion
After a concussion, it is important to allow time for your brain to heal and recover. If you are experiencing symptoms of a concussion or have been diagnosed by a medical professional, it is crucial to avoid any activity that could cause re-injury, which can lead to serious complications.
To minimize discomfort and reduce the risk of further problems, follow these important tips for concussion recovery:
- Rest your brain by avoiding mentally demanding tasks, such as reading, using electronic devices or watching TV.
- Rest your body and avoid physically demanding activities or exercise.
- Limit exposure to bright light and loud noises, which can worsen symptoms.
- Ensure you get adequate sleep to allow your brain to heal.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can interfere with the healing process and worsen symptoms.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary or caffeinated beverages.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid physical activity until cleared by a medical professional.
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief as needed (avoid ibuprofen and aspirin, which can increase the risk of bleeding).
Don’t Take a Chance With a Head Injury
Brain injuries, including concussions, can be frightening experiences. However, with prompt diagnosis and treatment, patients can minimize the risk of complications and get the symptom relief they need. If you suspect you may have a concussion, it’s important to prioritize your health and safety by seeking medical attention at your nearest urgent care or emergency room facility.