Concussion: Today’s Hottest Injury Topic by Bree Ogden
Concussions are quickly becoming the hottest injury topic in both the medical and sports world. The Centers for Disease and Control state the amount of reported concussions has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 has tripled, with teens ages 14 to 19 rising over 200 percent. So, what is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that most often is caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head. When the head is badly knocked or impacted, it causes the brain to rapidly bounce inside the skull. When this occurs the brain can become severely injured, causing serious repercussions. It’s important to allow the brain to heal if you do sustain a concussion because if a second concussion occurs before the brain has fully recovered a phenomenon called “second impact syndrome” can happen where more serious effects can occur.
A concussion can happen to anyone, which is why it’s important to understand the precautions, protocols and appropriate actions to take in a situation involving a brain injury. Signs and symptoms of a concussion typically show up soon after the injury occurs. However, some people may not know how serious their injury can be at first since some symptoms may not occur for some hours or days. Symptoms to look out for are: dizziness, nausea, headache, blurry vision and sensitivity to light. Rest is very important after a concussion because it allows the brain to heal. Continuing rigorous physical or mental activity such as sports, studying, heavy concentration or playing video games may worsen symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. After a head injury, mental and physical activity – such as learning and concentration – should be monitored by a medical professional or doctor. It takes time to get back to a normal routine and with the help of an experienced medical professional; you’ll recover faster and safer.
A person who’s had one concussion generally has a very good recovery outcome with few short and long-term effects. However, people who have had multiple concussions may not only suffer from short term effects, but are more at risk of developing permanent brain damage. Concussions are known to be cumulative; meaning each time someone has a concussion your brain is more susceptible to getting another one in the future. This is why it’s important to treat a concussion thoroughly and to do all necessary protocols and precautions before returning to a normal routine. Once a person suffers a brain injury, you need to rest your brain and body in order for it to heal. Returning to learn or play too early prevents the brain of making a full recovery, which could result in more damage. Avoiding activities that are both physically and mentally demanding are necessary when recovering from a concussion.
So, how can you reduce your chances of getting a concussion?
- Wear your seat belt in the car
- Wear a helmet and safety equipment while playing sports, driving a motorcycle or doing other activities
Concussions are a serious injury that people of all ages can get. Seek a medical professional if you think you or someone you know may have a suffered a concussion, for they are able to provide a roadmap to a full and safe recovery.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.