About 1.7 million cases of brain injury occur in the U.S. every year. Approximately 5.3 million people live with a disability caused by this trauma. No one has any advice that can protect you 100%, but our knowledge can help you avoid serious problems after a concussion and take all the necessary measures to treat it.
We at Bright Side value health and want to share some important symptoms that could indicate that you may have a concussion.
1. Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
A headache is one of the most common symptoms of a brain injury. Over 30% of people complain about having headaches for a long time. They can come and go, even after a year.
This happens because of small collections of blood or fluid inside the skull. You may get migraine, rebound, or tension-type headaches.
2. Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
Post-traumatic amnesia is a state of confusion that occurs immediately after a brain injury. A person is disoriented and unable to remember the events that occur after the injury. They may feel angry, impulsive, or emotional and this is totally normal.
Patients are often unaware of their surroundings and may ask questions repeatedly or have a tendency to wonder what happened. In some cases, people may become very quiet, loving, and friendly.
3. Nausea right after an accident
You may be dizzy or disoriented right afterward. Nausea can progressively get worse and be bothersome. With a head injury, it’s normal to have this symptom. It often goes away after a few weeks, but may last longer if the injury is severe.
4. Repetitive vomiting
Vomiting is considered to be one of the signs of a brain concussion, but it doesn’t mean that you have one 100%. However, patients with brain injuries often talk about repetitive vomiting with dizziness.
5. Slurred or slow speech
One of the most common symptoms is a condition that causes slurred or slow speech. It happens because the areas of the brain that control the muscles for speech are damaged.
Patients may know exactly what to say, but it is just hard for them to articulate it.
6. Dizziness or “seeing stars”
After a brain injury, you may feel dizziness and changes in your vision, like double vision, blurred vision or “seeing stars.”
You might also experience changes in balance, so your walking might not feel right. After a concussion, sudden movements like getting up too quickly can awaken a strong dizziness. It is better to make slow movements and try to find your balance.
7. Ringing in the ears or buzzing
Being sensitive to sounds is normal after a brain concussion. Some people can’t visit noisy places like markets and restaurants. They may experience a ringing in the ears, a buzzing, or a hissing noise.
This symptom can come and go or be constant. It happens because of the damage to the inner ear and hearing nerves.
Ways to treat a concussion
Detection and prevention
You can reduce the risk of getting a concussion by wearing the correct helmet during sports activities. But in case you’ve had an accident, it is crucial to go to a doctor and do all the necessary tests to make sure you don’t have a concussion.
- Make an appointment for concussion care.
- If you, your coaches, or your parents suspect you have a concussion, it is important to stop playing your sport right away.
- Children and adolescents should be checked by a health care professional trained in evaluating and managing pediatric concussions.
- Only a health care professional can decide how serious the concussion is and ways to treat it.
Rest and relaxing
After a concussion, you may need a long-term plan. Most people completely recover, but it can take months for the symptoms to disappear. It is crucial to:
- Take a break. Just get some rest, sleep more, watch TV less. Your brain needs time to heal, so relaxing is key. Activity is definitely not a good idea.
- Repeat concussions should be avoided. They can increase your chances of getting permanent brain damage.
- Get some relaxation therapy or acupuncture if your doctor recommends it.
Have you ever had any accidents that caused a concussion? How much time did your rehabilitation take? Please share your stories below!
Illustrated by Xenia Shalagina for Bright Side