The correlation between concussions and brain injury was not well known until a few short decades ago. People never realized how much a concussion could harm your brain long after the accident occurred. Now, after many years of study, there is a well-documented relationship between a brain injury and a concussion that can show the type of damage done. Read on to find out more about how the two are connected.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
The signs of a brain injury can vary greatly, but there are a few signs that are common throughout many diagnoses. A headache is likely the most common symptom that someone suffering from a brain injury will have. Their head can be pounding, pulsing, or more of a stabbing type of pain. They often experience nausea and problems with their balance following a concussive brain injury. This can leave the person clumsier, sick to his or her stomach, and having trouble performing routine tasks. Forgetting what happened right before the brain injury, or immediately following the brain injury, is also common when someone is experiencing a concussion. Confusion or an overall sense of everything around the person being ‘foggy’ is also common. This is due to the injury within the brain affecting how the person perceives their environment.
After a concussive brain injury, the injured often complain of sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights. They either have issues falling asleep or feel like all they want to do is sleep. They often experience a dizzy feeling whenever they stand up quickly, and their ability to perform academically or logically may also be slowed or impaired because of the effects of brain injury.
How to Assess A Concussion
When a concussive brain injury is possible, an assessment by medical personnel should be given. The first part of the assessment of a brain injury is seeing if the person ever lost consciousness or is currently altered in his or her mental state. Fortunately, this alteration following a concussion is relatively rare. If a fracture within the skull is possible, further testing through methods like CT scans and x-rays are possible, but these tests for a brain injury are typically not required.
What to Do After a Brain Injury, Such As a Concussion
Immediately following a brain injury, such as a concussion, the first thing that should be done is taking the injured person out of the activity that caused the injury. If the person was playing a sport, for instance, he or she should be removed and not allowed to return for the remainder of the game. The goal is to have the person rest after receiving the brain injury until there are no additional symptoms. Once the symptoms are completely gone for a significant period of time, the person should return to limited activity, including only activities that do not cause any jarring to the head or neck. This means that walking is often alright, but jogging or jumping would not work. Your doctor can tell you when it will be safe to return to playing the sport of choice or normal activities, based on the severity of your initial brain injury.
If you have suffered one concussion recently, studies show that you are more susceptible to additional ones until the brain has had the time to heal properly, which is going to be different for each person. One important thing to remember following any kind of a brain injury is to listen very closely to the advice of the medical professional who assessed you, or your personal physician. You should not take any type of medication that your doctor does not implicitly state is safe, as some medications can have the side effect of causing sleepiness or thinning your blood, which could make the brain injury far worse.