Concussions are common injuries, but they can still be serious. Become familiar with concussion symptoms so you can recognize the condition.
A concussions is sometimes referred to by doctors as a mild head injury (MHI), mild brain injury (MBI), mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or minor head trauma. At least a few of those terms seem contradictory, but let’s explore what happens during one of these events, as well as concussion symptoms, to better understand the situation.
First, understand that your brain is very accustomed to being “bounced around,” so to speak, on a daily basis. Your daily actions require that your brain be cushioned in its environment. This job falls upon the cerebrospinal fluid in your skull, which the brain floats in 24/7. During regular movement, the fluid prevents your brain from coming into contact with your skull.
It’s possible, however, during more violent or sudden activities, for your brain to be rapidly forced into the inside of your skull. These kinds of events include car accidents, contact sports, and other dangerous activities or accidents.
When this happens, the person may begin to show concussion symptoms, which can include headache, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, confusion, vertigo, fatigue, ringing in the ears, the sensation of pressure in the head, forgetfulness — particularly with regard to the initiating event or accident, trouble sleeping, seizures, inaccurate sense of taste or smell, foul mood, depression or other problems with mental function or physical coordination.
Concussion symptoms do not always present themselves immediately after the fact. Some may be subtle and come on gradually. Also, concussions symptoms may be fleeting, or remain present for several weeks.
Concussions are very common in children and infants, however, the condition may be more difficult to recognize in them since they can’t talk about how they feel. If you recognize that a child displays any of the symptoms mentioned above, or is unusually tired, has an out-of-the-ordinary change in mood, breaks patterns regarding how he or she normally eats or sleeps, or displays balance problems, the child may be presenting concussion symptoms and you should seek medical help immediately.
In the event a child suffers a head injury, always see a doctor as soon as possible — even if the child appears to be fine or easily recover. The seriousness of the condition is not always immediately apparent.
Most concussions are mild, with the patient typically making a fully recovery. However, there can be complications and long-term negative effects. For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, people who have experienced a concussion double their chances of developing epilepsy in the five years following the concussion. Also, an abundance of evidence now indicates that people who suffer multiple or repeated concussions, such as some football players and other athletes, may develop as a result long-lasting cognitive problems.
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