How to Deal with Concussion

How to Deal with Concussion

How to deal with concussion?

Mild concussion is extremely common with athletes and sports persons, but in severe cases it can lead to death. But do you know what is a concussion exactly? Well, concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury is caused by a sudden blow to the head or the body, a fall or an injury that vigorously shakes the brain inside the skull.

A doctor usually evaluates your level of concussion by studying the signs and symptoms and conducting a neurological examination. The neurological exam may include checking your vision, hearing, sensation, balance, reflexes and coordination. The doctor may also perform several cognitive tests to evaluate your memory, concentration and ability to recall information. Brain Imaging may be recommended if the symptoms of concussion become worse. You may be hospitalized for an overnight observation after experiencing a concussion.

How to Deal with a Concussion?

Watch out for the symptoms - One of the most important things to do after experiencing a concussion is to look out for the symptoms of concussion. In many cases, the signs and symptoms of concussion may not be noticeable right at the beginning.

Some of the signs of concussions to watch out for are:

  • Headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of conspicuousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Amnesia
  • Tiredness

You should get in touch with a doctor or neurologist if you experience:

  • Prolonged headache and dizziness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Prolonged feeling of nausea and vomiting
  • No improvement in memory loss
  • Loss of the sense of smell and taste

Take Rest:

Rest is extremely important to cope up with concussions and promote recovery in the early stages. So, you should try to get plenty of sleep and night and rest during the day. Try to avoid mentally demanding activities such as reading, watching TV, listening to music, playing video games, checking e-mails or performing any mental task. At this stage, rest should be both physical and mental. The apparent symptoms of concussion can resolve quickly, but post-concussion syndrome may take a while to resolve. Take the time your brain needs to recover, or it will be worse in the long run.

Get Help for Headaches:

Headaches and body pain is common after suffering a concussion and it may affect your sleep and rest, thereby making you more irritable. Constant headaches can also make you dizzy and nauseated. Review your medications with your doctor and take only prescribed dosage of Tylenol, or acetaminophen. Don't take ibuprofen or aspirin, because these pain killers could worsen the concussion symptoms.

Avoid Strenuous Physical Activates:

Physically demanding activates such as exercising, housecleaning, lifting and carrying heavy items, jarring movements such as running and jumping should be avoided completely because it only makes the symptoms worse and slows down the recovery from brain concussion. Return to normal physical activities gradually only when your doctor says you are recovered enough to perform them.

Be Careful about Your Mood and Level of Stress:

Anxiety, irritability, stress and sadness are common and normal reactions that you might experience while coping with concussion and recovering from the injury. Such emotions can be triggered by the changes in your lifestyle. But always try to look at the positive side and have an optimistic outlook. Feel positive about the healing process, have realistic expectations and focus on your strengths.

Avoid Second Concussion:

An important part of healing after concussion is to avoid having another concussion. Take special care about your movements and actions. Move slowly and constantly and always stay careful about your surroundings. You can also use a walking stick to get around for the first few months of recovery. A walking stick provides support and helps you to get around more easily and reduces the risk of a fall.

Tips to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic head injury or concussion can occur at any place - the play ground, in a car or while in your house. Here are a few tips that can help you to prevent a concussion:

  • Don't forget to wear your seat belt every time your drive a car or take a ride in a motor vehicle.
  • For best protection, children and infants should be seated in a rear facing car seat in the back seat, securely buckled with the harness of the seat.
  • A person should never drive under the influence of drug or alcohol.
  • Both adults and children must wear helmets while riding bikes, scooter and motorcycle, playing contact sports such as football, ice hockey or boxing, riding skate boards, snowboarding or skiing.
  • Tripping hazards such as rugs and other clutters should be removed from the walkways in order to make the living areas safer for elderly members.
  • It is best to use nonslip mats in the bath tubs and shower floors.
  • Grab bars should be installed next to toilets and in the shower.
  • Handrails should be installed on the stairways.
  • Window guards and safety gates should be installed in order to make living areas safer for children.

Why Seeing a Doctor Is a Must?

Any head injury or suspected concussion must be evaluated by a medical professional or neurologist. What seems to be a minor head injury can eventually turn into a fatal injury.

  • Severe concussion can lead to an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.
  • It can lead to lead to short or long term changes in thinking, sensation, language and emotions.
  • It can affect memory and reasoning, sight, balance, capacity of understanding, communicating and expressing.
  • It can also lead to personality and mood changes, depression, anxiety and aggression.
  • Concussion can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and other brain disorders with progressing age.
  • Repeated mild concussions occurring over an extended period of time can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficit, but repeated mild concussions over a short period of time can be fatal and potentially serious.

A neurologist specializes in diagnosis and treatment of post concussion syndrome and can help you to understand the severity of the injury and the best recovery method. Are you looking for experienced neurologist in Chennai? Then you can visit Best Neurologists in Chennai and choose from a list of neurology related specialists practicing in Chennai.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Bharti Talreja (MBBS, DPM, FAGE, MIPS)

She is a Psychiatrist practising in Botad, India.