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Have you ever experienced a concussion? Chances are you didn’t feel well, but what exactly happened? Read this lesson to learn what a concussion is, what the symptoms are, and how to treat it!

What Is a Concussion?

Have you ever had a concussion? Do you know what a concussion really is? A concussion is a brain injury that alters how your brain works; injury is usually caused by a blow to the head or by violent shaking. These alterations are usually temporary but are still a pretty serious health condition.

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Symptoms of a Concussion

A concussion’s symptoms are usually temporary, but they can include dizziness, confusion, headaches, problems concentrating, and wobbly balance. Sometimes long-term symptoms develop, and these can include lapses in memory, sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty sleeping, depression, and peculiar tastes and smells. Occasionally, a person may lose consciousness after the initial injury, but this is rare. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a person to not even know that they got a concussion in the first place! They can be pretty sneaky injuries. Usually symptoms disappear on their own as the brain heals, but it’s really important to avoid any situations where the head could be hit again during the healing process.

If a person experiences vomiting, prolonged unconsciousness, seizures, headaches that get worse over time, or any long-term symptoms after taking a hit to the head, it’s probably best to seek medical attention.

What Happens to the Brain?

The brain is cushioned inside the skull in a pool of liquid, so it naturally absorbs the shock caused by everyday events. However, when the head is hit against something or shaken hard, the brain ‘swooshes’ around and bounces off the skull. Simply speaking, the brain does not like this, and this impact can cause swelling or bleeding, which then cause the symptoms of a concussion. If the impact causes major bleeding and goes untreated, this can result in permanent damage or even death.

Anatomy of a concussion
concussion

Treatment Options

If you are unlucky enough to bonk your head and get a concussion, what kind of treatment options are available? The first step is resting! Stop whatever activity you were doing and take it easy – give your head a chance to heal. And this rest doesn’t just mean physical rest – it also means mental rest. Avoid any tasks that require intense concentration or strain on the eyes. If over-the-counter pain medications are necessary, avoid any with aspirin because they thin the blood and can increase bleeding. Mental and physical rest should last until there are no more symptoms present. Immediately after a concussion, a person should be monitored until it’s clear that the bleeding isn’t severe.

This is why you often hear the advice not to sleep immediately after getting a concussion.That being said, it is important to take precautions that can prevent a concussion from happening in the first place! If you are playing a contact sport, wear a helmet! Protect the stuff between your ears! A broken bone can be reset and heal, but there are only so many options for treating a brain injury. Wear a seat belt in the car. Watch your kids when they are playing and pay close attention for possible symptoms if they take a spill and hit their head.

Lesson Summary

A concussion is a head injury that occurs after your head has been hit or shaken. The brain bounces off the inside of the skull and begins to swell or bleed. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, headaches, confusion, light and noise sensitivity, and problems with concentration and memory. If any symptoms are severe, or if they last for a pronged period of time, medical intervention might be necessary. After receiving a concussion, the most important treatment is to rest, both physically and mentally.

Avoid exertion and intense concentration until the symptoms completely disappear. Finally, be proactive about preventing concussions in the first place!Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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