A concussion is a brain injury that occurs from a blow or jolt to the head. Symptoms of a concussion are usually not life-threatening, but they can be quite serious, particularly if a person sustains a concussion more than once. Concussions are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury, or a TBI.
Concussions occur frequently in contact sports, and the impact they have on the growing brains of young people participating in athletics has been an expanding concern in recent years.
People tend to think that a concussion involves a loss of consciousness, but that is often not the case. Instead, the person who experiences the concussion will be dazed and probably won’t remember what happened immediately before and after the concussion. People who've had a concussion may also have problems with balance, speech, muscle coordination, memory and reflexes. The concussion may be followed by chronic headaches, problems with vision, memory loss, balance problems, nausea and vomiting or mental health issues.
Treatment of Concussion
A concussion can be a serious injury that must be diagnosed and treated by a qualified health care provider. Sound treatment of a concussion should involve some form of testing to assess the severity of the concussion and its impact on the brain.
Typically, the recovery period from a concussion involves staying out of dangerous activities for awhile, including contact sports. The same goes for activities that might be mentally challenging. It’s also important to get plenty of rest and take any recommended medications. Avoiding alcohol or other drugs is another key to recovery. Often, people who've had a concussion will need to be tested by their doctor before resuming some activities.
SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Association of Neurological Surgeons
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