The Symptoms Of A Concussion

What are the symptoms of a concussion? Any violent blow to the head that causes a brief unconsciousness that lasts even a few seconds can cause a concussion.

Any violent blow to the head that causes a brief unconsciousness that last only a few seconds can cause a concussion. This condition may be caused by sports injuries, falls, automobile accidents, industrial accidents, blows received in fights or any minor head injury. With a concussion the loss of consciousness is caused by a disturbance of the electrical activities in the brain. In most cases of concussion there is no association of damage to the brain but even so it should be treated as a serious occurrence and reported to a doctor. Although concussions cause a malfunction of the brain they do not result in any visible damage to the structure of the skull. In fact, concussions have been known to occur after even minor damage to the head if the brain has been jarred within the head.

The symptoms that will usually immediately follow a concussion may include a headachy feeling, abnormal sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, lack of feeling or emotion, anxiety, blurred vision, vomiting, and the inability to remember events prior to the injury. If the period of unconsciousness is prolonged the symptoms may be more persistent and severe. In cases of repeated concussion such as that found in boxers, damage to the brain, impaired concentration, slurred speech, slow thinking and the punch drunk syndrome are possible. As with anyone who has been knocked unconscious a doctor may advise bed rest and observation. Depending on the severity of the concussion this can be done at home or in the hospital.

In most cases a person will recover from a concussion within a few hours or days. In more severe cases of concussion the last up to several weeks. The person who is experiencing a concussion may have difficulty working, socializing or studying which is known as post concussion syndrome. Although the reasons for this reaction to a concussion is unknown, it is believed by experts that post concussion syndrome may be caused by microscopic injuries to the brain or psychologic factors related to the injury. In some cases drug therapy or psychiatric treatment will help to relieve these symptoms.



Even more dangerous than post concussion syndrome are more serious symptoms which may develop within hours or sometimes days after the injury. These would include increasing confusion, increasing sleepiness or a worsening of the headache. When any of these symptoms appear and persist immediate medical attention is required. Any blow to the head that causes loss of consciousness may severely shake the brain causing brain damage without leaving signs of external injury. This type of blow will often bruise the brain causing the death of some of the brain cells in the injured area. Head injuries are also known to cause edema or swelling of the brain and if the blow is severe enough it might even cause a skull fracture.

The recovery from most minor head injuries can be delayed due to persistent symptoms of concussion. In most cases with minor injuries rest and acetaminophen is recommended as well as monitoring of the symptoms. If the injured person is a child the parents are given instructions by a doctor on how to monitor the child for changes. If the symptoms do not worsen the person with the concussion can carry on as usual after three or four days.

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