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What to Do If You Have a Concussion?

What Are Concussions?

Millions of concussions take place annually in the United States, affecting everyone from kids and teens to adults and seniors. A concussion is a short-term functional brain injury caused by trauma to the head. It can be sustained through a relatively light blow. It is important to assume a concussion is possible after any noticeable head injury.

Symptoms of concussion include:

Although symptoms usually appear within 24 to 48 hours, they are not always obvious right away. Not all symptoms are present in every case of concussion. If you suspect a concussion, it is always best to seek medical help.

What Causes Concussions?

Concussions can be caused by almost any blow to the head; most patients acquire concussions through one of these circumstances:

Automotive Accident

Anyone who strikes their head during a car accident should be screened immediately for signs of concussion. Hitting the steering wheel or dashboard often causes concussion. It is essential to undergo a concussion screening as soon as possible, even if other injuries require attention.

Sports Injury

Over the last few years, a great deal of media coverage has been devoted to concussions as a result of sports injury. Any sport that involves contact between the head and anything else, like soccer or football, presents some risk of concussion. Trained sports medics should always be on hand.

Household Accident

Household accidents that seem relatively minor can cause concussion. For example, striking your head on a ceiling fan while cleaning it or hitting your head while entering the attic or basement. Always be alert to low surfaces and items that could fall from shelves.

How to Avoid Concussions

With good safety practices, it is possible to avoid many incidents that can lead to concussion.

Most importantly, it’s vital to use appropriate safety gear whenever you are in a situation that might pose risk to your head or neck. When playing sports, always wear the required headgear, gloves, padding, and so on. Helmets may protect your head from a direct blow, but other gear prevents slippage, safeguarding against unintended collision and other accidents.

Many concussions received during a vehicle collision could be prevented by wearing a seat belt. The airbag is also instrumental in preventing concussions for the driver and front passenger. If you own a vehicle, be sure to have the airbag tested during any regular maintenance.

In general, awareness will help you navigate situations that raise concussion risk. Consider a hard hat for any home improvement projects that require you to use a ladder, enter confined spaces, or interact with high shelves. If a head injury does happen, a concussion will be less likely.

Concussion Treatment Options

There is no specific treatment that will cure a concussion. Treatment focuses on medication that reduces the pain associated with concussion along with activity modifications to make complications less likely. Patients should avoid strenuous physical or mental activity, refrain from driving, get plenty of rest, and avoid any pain triggers that they notice.

In the wake of a head injury, an accurate diagnosis is crucial. What may seem like a relatively minor concussion can, in some cases, develop over time into a traumatic brain injury. With prompt care, you can limit complications and protect your neurological health.

To learn more, contact Complete Neurological Care.

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