We all know there is reason behind wearing a helmet during sports contests or when riding a bike. The brain needs all the protection it can get because the skull is not enough in many of these scenarios. An injury to the brain is called a concussion and here is a look at this condition with common signs that require immediate medical attention.
Just a Bump or Something Worse: Common Signs of a Concussion
What is a Concussion?
The brain floats in the skull surrounded by fluid. Any form of strong shaking or blunt force from an object can harm it. This type of injury causes the brain to bruise. The bruising damages and in some instances, kills brain cells. Depending on the location, it can affect specific functions. Regardless of the area where concussions are sustained, symptoms will present in minutes to days and here are 5 things to know about brain injuries and how symptoms might manifest.
Headaches are the first red flag that an injury was not simply a bump on the head. Sharp and immediate, or a long-term dull throb are the painful signs to watch for. Individuals can try over-the-counter-medications to relieve their headache, but if the pain worsens or does not get better over time, a concussion could be the culprit.
After you bump your head from any scenario, have someone look into your eyes to ensure both pupils are the same size. If one is larger than the other, this is a sign of a concussion. Blurry and/or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light are also warning signs exhibited by the eyes.
Sensitivity to noise is an indication that a concussion may have occurred. This coupled with ringing in the ears or an inability to maintain balance are more symptoms to be aware of. In addition, stumbling while walking or moving slowly with an exaggerated gait means there is a bigger problem.
The impact on cognition can manifest with issues that affect speech such as slurred talking or an inability to talk altogether. Feeling dizzy or confused is more evidence the brain is under stress. Being disoriented and difficulty concentrating are more signs of concern. If concentration seems hard or hurts, this is another cognitive symptom from this injury.
Irritability is a sign that parents rely on when an infant is involved. This may also be seen in conjunction with bursts of agitation and restlessness. However, these behavioral changes affect all concussion sufferers. Unusual sleepiness or difficulty being roused from sleep are danger signs that should not be ignored.
Traumatic brain injury and a concussion are the same condition. To prevent trauma from a robust hit or fall, wearing protective gear is imperative to avoid causing damage that could be irreversible. There are levels of damage that require correct diagnosis and treatment, and recovery will include rest and avoidance of strenuous activities for a specified time-frame. It is always important to be aware that certain injuries may be more than a bump on the head.