People often experience headache or vomiting after injuring themselves while playing sports or after a sudden fall. Chances are, they might have suffered a concussion.
Concussion can be defined as a brain injury caused by a blow to the head. Any sudden jolt in the body that causes the head to move back and forth can result in a concussion. Accidents, sports injury, a fall or shaking of the head violently can result in a concussion.
Also called mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), a concussion is often short lived. Patients usually recover within a few days or months, depending on the intensity of the injury. But, because it affects the brain, people suffering from TBI experience physical and cognitive issues.
The following symptoms can occur immediately or after hours and even days:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory issues
- Headache, nausea or vomiting
- Balancing issues
- Blurry vision
- Behavioral changes
- Slow stimuli
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention and follow precautionary measures to prevent it from worsening.
Concussion Treatment Care Tips – What to Do and How to Avoid Them
Your brain starts a mechanism to heal itself after a concussion. This requires you to follow these steps:
- Sleep is even more crucial in this case as it helps recovery. Get enough sleep, around 8-10 hours in the next few days.
- Give your brain some rest. Take a break from strenuous mental activities that stresses your brain like work, study, reading, etc. If you can’t avoid studying or working, speak to a medical professional for advice.
- Since the brain gets stimulated by physical activities, don’t indulge in anything that requires excessive physical effort. Playing sports, intense workout, carrying heavy weights, etc. must be avoided.
- Avoid too much screen time like TV, mobile, laptop, playing video games. Such forms of extreme mental stimulation and bright light can worsen the problem.
- Stay hydrated, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid any triggers, i.e. activities that seem to aggravate your symptoms.
- Since sensitivity to light is common, wear sunglasses or a cap to prevent the brightness from adding to the symptoms.
- Consult a Scottsdale neurologist before taking any medication.
In case, symptoms don’t subside or seem to worsen resulting in seizures, severe dizziness, difficulty in waking from sleep, enlarged pupils, etc. seek professional concussion treatment immediately.
Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment: What Do Medical Professionals Do?
Whether you visit a doctor immediately or go after a few hours of the brain injury, they will conduct a range of tests to monitor and evaluate concussion. This is because it involves a wide range of symptoms that may appear late in some cases.
Firstly, the neurologist will take a detailed account of what happened and understand the signs of injury. They will also check your medical history. One or more of these tests might be performed depending on your condition.
After the initial consultation the neurologist will perform neurological and cognitive tests, which include evaluation of one or more of these functions:
- Vision and eye movement
- Hearing and speech
- Balance and coordination
- Memory and concentrating abilities
- Mood and behavioral changes
After a thorough neurological examination, if the neurologist feels that they need further assessment to reach a diagnosis, they will ask you to undergo imaging tests. Brain imaging tests are usually recommended in severe cases where patients suffer from severe headaches, repeated vomiting, seizures or worsening of mild symptoms over a period of time.
Such tests help determine if the injury has led to any bleeding, swelling or severe damage in the brain. Common imaging tests recommended include:
Computerized Tomography or CT scan is a standard way of diagnosing traumatic brain injury in adults. This is usually done immediately after the injury has occurred. CT scan provides cross-sectional images of the brain to help diagnose any changes in the affected or surrounding area.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI uses magnetic fields or waves to scan and provide in depth pictures of your brain. It brings to the surface any changes or complications that occur after the concussion.
The medical professional might ask you to stay under observation or conduct further examinations if they deem necessary. Make sure to have someone informed or be there with you as concussion also causes forgetfulness.
Typically, people that sustain a concussion are able to resume normal activities after a week or two. However, some might take longer. The sooner you get medical help, the better.
If you or someone close to you has suffered from concussion or any other brain issues, consult us and we can help you out.