Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). They are a mild form of TBI caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Doctors consider this a “mild” brain injury because they are not usually life-threatening. While they may not be life-threatening, it’s important to recognize why concussions happen and how they affect your body – that way you can treat the issue, in the event of one, and return your life to normal as quickly as possible.
The Causes of Concussion
As stated above, a concussion can occur when the head is struck in some way. In emergency rooms, the leading causes of concussions are falls, automobile accidents, accidentally being hit by or against an object, assaults, and sports.
While getting, having, and treating a concussion runs a fairly normal course, multiple concussions – like those seen in professional football players, can cause serious issues. The Journal of American Medical Association published a study that found that out of 111 professional football players, 110 had a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, as a result of repeated concussions over the course of their careers.
The Symptoms of Concussions
According to the CDC, symptoms of concussions can be broken down into four categories: thinking/remembering, physical, emotional/mood, and sleep disturbance. If an individual has recently bumped their head and are experiencing symptoms from more than one of these categories, they may have a concussion.
A concussion victim may experience difficulty remembering recent events and may describe themselves as feeling “foggy.”
The physical symptoms of a concussion include a worsening headache that won’t go away, one pupil appearing larger than the other, slurred speech, weakness, difficulty with bright lights or loud noises, nausea or vomiting, convulsions, or loss of conciseness.
Someone with a concussion may be irritable, sad, or nervous. They may feel confused, restless, or angry.
A person with a concussion may sleep more or less than normal. They may feel drowsy or be unable to wake up.
Treating a Concussion
Once you’ve been diagnosed with a concussion, your doctor will tell you the best way to treat your injury. Most often, they will tell you rest is important because it will help your brain heal. You’ll want to get as much sleep as possible at night and take time to rest during the day.
You’ll also want to avoid physically demanding activities like exercising and heavy housecleaning, as well as activities that require a lot of attention, like reading. Those activities can potentially worsen your symptoms and slow your recovery. Avoid any activities that could potentially cause a second concussion.
You may need your doctor’s approval before you can drive a car, ride a bike, operate heavy equipment, or go to work. Once you have your doctor’s approval, return to your normal activities gradually – not all at once.
If you believe your concussion was at the fault of someone, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and suffering. A Lexington traumatic brain injury lawyer will be able to help you find out if you have a case. Contact our office today.