What Happens | The Signs of a Concussion | How You Should Respond
Millions of Americans seek medical treatment every year for concussions, a form of mild traumatic brain injury. In the majority of situations, concussion victims make a full recovery within a couple weeks. Concussions can, however, have long-term detrimental effects on your health and can even be fatal. It’s important that you understand what happens when you have a concussion, what you should consider to be the warning signs of a concussion, and what you should do if you suspect that you or someone you know or love has suffered a concussion.
What Is a Concussion and What Happens When You Sustain a Concussion?
A concussion if a type of mild TBI caused by some traumatic event, such as a fall, motor vehicle accident or collision with another object, including another person. To suffer a concussion, you don’t need to have any direct impact to your head, though that is a common cause. You can also suffer a concussion if your brain strikes the inside of your skull with sufficient force, as can happen in a whiplash-type event.
Contrary to popular perception, a concussion is typically not the result of a single event, but of a combination or series of events, which can include metabolic changes inside your brain. In the immediate aftermath of injury, your brain cells may not get sufficient energy, oxygen or other nutrients to maintain normal function. A concussion isn’t really a bruise—it’s damage to your brain at a cellular level. Often, there will be no visible signs of injury or loss of consciousness.
What Are the Telltale Signs of a Concussion?
The symptoms of a concussion can be drawn from the conditions reported by victims or by observations made by others. The symptoms typically reported by the victim include:
- Persistent headaches or a feeling of pressure on the brain
- Vertigo, balance issues or dizziness
- Extreme sensitivity to light or sound
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- A feeling of fatigue, sluggishness, or grogginess
- Difficulty with cognitive functions, including memory, concentration or communication
Indications of concussion that may be noticed by others include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Behavioral changes or mood swings
- A stunned or dazed look
- Confusion or lack of engagement in ongoing events or conversations
What to Do If You Suspect a Concussion
Regardless of the cause, you should immediately stop all unnecessary activity and seek medical attention. You can go to a hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility, but your primary care physician can also conduct the necessary exam and refer you to the appropriate specialist, if necessary.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer any type of concussion, TBI or traumatic brain injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.