Concussions are an injury to the brain and are caused by a hit to the head, falling down, or any other type of injury that wobbles the brain. How do you identify and treat a concussion?
Symptoms of a Concussion
Concussions are sometimes hard to identify after a fall or blow to the head. With some falls or blows, cuts, abrasions, or bruising is present, but not always. According to WebMD, “You don’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion.” There are, however, some common symptoms including:
- Pressure in the head or a headache
- Confusion or a foggy-like feeling
- Amnesia after the injury
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
These symptoms of a concussion are the most common ones and if you or a family member experiences any, a combination, or all of these symptoms, it’s best to seek out an urgent care center for immediate medical treatment.
Delayed Concussion Symptoms
Rest is the best treatment for concussions, however, some people may experience delayed symptoms. These can include:
- Poor concentration or memory complaints
- Personality changes or irritability
- Trouble sleeping
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Depression or psychological problems
- Loss of taste or smell
The effects of a concussion can last for a few days, weeks, or for an extended period of time.
The NFL has been criticized for how they handle concussions, but most recently has settled a lawsuit with 4,500 retired players contributing $765 million to a fund that will treat the long-term effects of concussions, according to NBC Sports.
Football players at the collegiate level also experience concussion injuries. In fact, the NCAA’s Injury Surveillance System says “College athletes in all divisions suffered at least 29,255 concussions from 2004 to 2009 with 16,277 occurring in football alone.” Even high school football players are not immune from concussions. The medical and science community agree long-term research is needed to study the effects of these injuries.
Doctors identify a concussion injury by asking about a fall, hit, or blow to the head and pose memory test questions. Strength and balance are examined as well as reflexes and sensation. CT Scans may be order or an MRI to see if the brain is bleeding or bruised. The most important thing to remember about concussions is that if you expect one has occurred, seek immediate care from a doctor or find an urgent care near you.
The most common treatment for concussions include:
- Rest and observation by a caregiver
- Avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs
- Stopping strenuous activities—housecleaning, exercise, schoolwork, using the computer or playing video games
- Ice pack or cold compresses on the head for 10 to 20 minutes twice a day
- Taking pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Parents who have children active in team sports should do an Internet search on “urgent care near me” in the event a concussion occurs so they are prepared in advance on where to head for medical care.
More research is needed on concussions and their effects on the brain but don’t treat them like a minor injury—do seek out care from a professional.
About the author:
Michael Barber is an internet entrepreneur and respected healthcare marketer. Following his stint leading one of the nations foremost digital marketing agencies, Barber started Urgent Care Locations as a national directory of walk-in clinics allowing patients to find over 7,500 clinical providers and rate and review their experiences.