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What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion and When to See a Doctor

Could you have a concussion and not even know it? A concussion is caused by trauma to the brain. Trauma can be a result of physical damage to the head or another body injury that shakes the brain inside the skull (known as jarring). The brain is soft, similar to jello. To protect this delicate organ, the brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid to cushion it from bumping into the skull. However, the cerebrospinal fluid is not fool proof. In times where there is major impact to the head, the brain can hit the side of the skull – resulting in brain damage.

symptoms of a concussionBrain damage can affect how the brain functions, depending on the severity of the impact. Typically, individuals will experience a concussion. The symptoms of a concussion may be apparent right away or it might take a day or two. Bleeding may occur in the brain, which can be fatal. Therefore it is important to monitor your condition after a hard bump to your head.

Symptoms of a Concussion Exposed

Common causes of concussions include sports, a fall, and car accidents. In some cases, there may be some visible damage such a cuts, bruises, and bleeding. However, a concussion can still occur if there are no visible signs of any damage. Symptoms of a concussion don’t necessarily include unconsciousness. Some people report just seeing stars or just all black. The severity of the concussion is related to whether or not the individual loses consciousness or not.

Symptoms of a concussion really depend on how mild or severe your injury is.  They may include a temporary loss of consciousness, a headache, confusion, amnesia (typically memory loss of events before and after the injury), vision problems (seeing flashing lights), and nausea and vomiting.  Sometimes, certain symptoms won’t appear until several days after the accident. You might experience personality changes, irritability, difficulties concentrating or loss of memory, sensitive to loud noises or bright lights, difficulties sleeping, depression, or a distortion of taste and smell.

The following symptoms of a concussion indicate that there is a more serious problem.

If you experience these symptoms, it is important you seek a doctor immediately:

  • Persistent confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • muscle weakness
  • ongoing vomiting
  • unusual eye movements or unequal pupil sizes
  • difficulties walking, or ongoing vomiting.

If the individual does not wake up after a minute, it is important to bring them to see a doctor or hospital as soon as possible.  You must also go to the emergency room if you notice that the symptoms are progressing or if you have a degradation of physical skills or mental functioning.

Your doctor may evaluate you for cognitive and neurological damage. Neurological exams can examine your concentration and memory, your hearing and vision, your balance and coordination, and your reflexes. Your doctor may require you to undergo a CT (computerized tomography) scan. A CT scan produces a detailed image of your brain and skull that your doctor will use to evaluate the injury.

Certain activities may put you at higher risk for getting a concussion. Activities include: high contact sports (such as football, rugby, hockey) without proper protective equipment, being involved in a car accident, falling (especially in the elderly or young children), and if you whether or not you had a previous concussion.

Some individuals might be at risk for further complications. Those who have experienced a concussion have an increased risk of developing epilepsy within a few years. In addition, those who have had multiple concussions are more likely to have progressive symptoms of a concussion or lasting effects.

Concussion Symptoms YouTube video

Reference links

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/concussion/DS00320/DSECTION=symptoms
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/concussion/article_em.htm   
http://www.medicinenet.com/brain_concussion/article.htm