A concussion is said to be a type of traumatic brain injury or TBI that occurs due to an abrupt direct blow, bump or jolt to the head, or a whip-lash kind of effect where your head and neck shakes quickly back and forth.
Our brain is a mass of soft tissue that contains spinal fluid and is protected by the hard skull. During the abrupt bump, the excessive force causes the brain to bounce or spiral in the skull generating chemical changes in the brain tissue. This ultimately leads to damage of the blood vessels and some of the neural tissue or brain cells. It mostly results in an altered state of mind including temporary unconsciousness, loss of equilibrium, and disturbance in vision and speech. Quite often, people suffering from a concussion get confused and cannot remember what happened immediately before or after the injury. Although the effects of a concussion are temporary, it requires proper time and rests to settle the injury.
A concussion can happen to anyone at any time. Most of the time, people can get injured and have a concussion due to a car accident, sudden fall from stairs, severe fight, or sometimes even while participating in physical sports activities like football, rugby, boxing, hiking, skiing etc. Also Read: Road Accidents In India: Prevention Is The Key To Save Many Lives
The common signs and symptoms of concussion vary from person to person and depend upon the severity of the injury. The symptoms can either develop right at the time of the concussion or span over hours, days, weeks and even months. It mostly includes:
- Loss of consciousness
- Impaired vision
- Slurry Speech
- Delayed Response
- Loss of memory (temporary amnesia)
- Ringing in ears or tinnitus
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sleep Disturbance
- Loss of equilibrium or balance problems
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery discharge from mouth, nose or ears
- Temper tantrums
- Excessive crying
- Loss of balance
- Loss of interest in learning new things
Diagnosis And Treatment
It is strictly advised to go for an emergency check-up right after the accident or injury to get the treatment started at the earliest. The doctor usually acknowledges a few details of the accident to analyse the patient’s memory and concentration. He may also ask to undergo certain cognitive skill tests to check the patient’s reflexes, vision, consciousness, strength, balance, and coordination.
In case of severe injury, the doctor performs several Imaging procedures like CT-Scan, MRI-Scan, Ultrasound to look for any injury inside the brain. In the case of seizures, the doctor may also perform an electroencephalogram to monitor the brain waves. Eye tests are also done to analyse any vision defects. Also Read: Seizures: Signs, First Aid And Safety Precautions
Treatment options usually depend upon the severity of the accident or injury. In case of a mild concussion, the doctor may just prescribe some anti-inflammatory, or pain-relieving medications and ask the person to rest. Although it may take some time, during the recovery period, a person may experience mild headache, irritability, sensitivity towards light and difficulty in concentrating.
In severe cases, where there has been some bleeding or swelling in the brain due to the impact, the doctor may even perform a surgical procedure to treat the concussion.