A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that usually occurs after a hit to the head or violent movement. Whether severe or mild, any TBI can affect brain function, such as trouble concentrating, headaches, and difficulty with balance.
You don’t have to play a sport or be in a car accident to get a concussion. Any movement or hit to your head or body that causes your head and brain to move back and forth rapidly can trigger a concussion.
Some concussions can cause a loss of consciousness, but not all do, and it’s possible to have a concussion without realizing it. Because concussions affect brain function, people with the condition may not be able to self-evaluate. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of a concussion.
At Crown Medical Center in Huntsville, Chad Mathey, DC, can provide the care and supportive therapies you need after suffering a concussion or other TBI. Read on to learn more about the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Early signs of a concussion
Early signs of a concussion usually appear soon after the triggering event, typically within minutes. Early signs of a mild concussion can include:
- Feeling of pressure in the head
- Appearing stunned or dazed
- Trouble remembering what happened before or after the event
- Nausea or vomiting
Later signs of a concussion
Some signs of a concussion can take time to appear, usually within several hours. Some signs, though, can develop days later when the brain becomes stressed by activity, such as reading, watching TV, or physical exercise. Later signs of a mild concussion can include:
- Persistent headaches
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Fatigue or general tiredness
- Being sensitive to lights or sounds
- Problems with vision, such as difficulty focusing
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Trouble with memory and concentrating
- General confusion
- Changes in baseline mood, behavior, or personality
Severe concussion warning signs
Although most concussions are mild, some can be severe and require immediate medical attention. Signs of a severe concussion can include:
- Loss of consciousness, no matter how brief
- Extreme headache or one that progressively worsens
- Slurred speech
- Numbness or weakness in limbs
- Different sized pupils
- Unable to wake or extreme fatigue
- Persistent vomiting
- Inability to eat or drink
How long do concussions last?
With proper treatment and rest, most concussions resolve fully within a few weeks. Some concussions can take longer to heal, but most usually resolve within a few months. Although less common, some people can have long-term problems resulting from the injury to the brain or soft tissue called post-concussion syndrome.
Dr. Mathey and the team at Crown Medical Center are experienced at administering therapies that can help ease the symptoms associated with concussions. He and his team will develop a unique treatment plan based on your symptoms.
What should I do if I think I have a concussion?
Even though most concussions resolve without complications, about 5% of people with concussions develop bleeding or clots in the brain. As such, it’s better to be safe and see a medical professional to get the care you need. In the event of severe head trauma, seek medical attention immediately.
If you think you have or have had a concussion, book an appointment online or over the phone with Crown Medical Center today.