Did you know that your brain can bruise just like any other part of your body? Even though your brain is enclosed by the skull, if you sustain a hit to your head, or a violent shaking, your brain can bruise. Furthermore, the sudden movement or a hit or violent shaking can stretch and damage the brain tissue. This damage to the brain is called a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. And since the brain is the command center of your body, a concussion can be devastating.
Concussions can be caused by falls, car crashes, bike riding, truck accidents, skateboarding, skiing, or even playing at the playground. Many injuries in children are caused by playing organized sports such as football and soccer where hits to the head and body are common.
While many concussions are considered to be a mild brain injury, they still should be taken seriously. Most people will recover completely from a concussion with proper care. Occasionally, a concussion will have a lasting effect on thinking, attention, learning and memory. If you suffer a concussion, the risk of sustaining another concussion is much higher, especially within the first 10 days of your first injury. If you do sustain a second concussion, your injury may be more severe with lasting consequences.
Serious brain injuries that involve skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, or swelling of the brain can be detected with X-rays or other devices like MRI and CAT scans. A concussion, however, cannot be seen with these scans, and must be detected through signs and symptoms of abnormal brain function. Symptoms of a concussion do not always appear immediately. Sometimes it takes a day or two, or even a week for symptoms of a concussion to appear. Recovery from a concussion may be slower among older adults, young children and teens.
Common symptoms of a concussion include
- mood swings,
- balance problems,
- blurry vision,
- ringing in the ears,
- sensitivity to noise or light,
- sleep changes, and
- memory problems.
Sometimes loss of consciousness or convulsions will occur with a concussion. A person with a concussion might have trouble answering basic questions, or move in a clumsy way.
The majority of people recover from a concussion within a week to 10 days, but some people, and especially children, may have persistent symptoms that remain up to a year after the concussion happens. Headaches and dizziness usually go away quickly, but these persistent symptoms, which include problems with memory, and paying attention, can cause an increased risk for lasting problems.
If you have symptoms of a concussion, or you know someone who does, stop whatever activity caused the concussion and see a doctor right away. The doctor may test strength, sense, balance, reflexes, and memory and may order scans to rule out brain swelling, or a blood clot in the brain.
If the concussion is mild, rest may be the only treatment. This means you will need to keep a regular schedule with limited physical activity until all symptoms of the concussion disappear. Rest means plenty of sleep in addition to a mental time out. Using a computer or cell phone, doing schoolwork, homework, and even reading and watching television may need to be stopped or limited. As always, your doctor will be your best resource after a concussion depending on the nature of your injuries.
More than a million mild traumatic brain injuries occur nationwide each year. Concussions are dangerous and should not be ignored. See a doctor immediately, and follow the recommended treatment. If an accident was involved, an attorney may able to help your get compensation for your pain and suffering.
Call the personal injury lawyers at the Stilwell Law Firm for your free and confidential consultations at 713-931-1111 or 844-931-3111.