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Concussion-Overview

This is actually the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Traumaticmeans that the injury was caused by a sudden blow to the head. The brain iscushioned from everyday bumps by the cerebrospinal fluid that floats around it.The blow shakes the brain inside the skull, causing it to slide powerfully againstthe inner wall of the skull. This might temporarily prevent the brain fromfunctioning normally. A concussion can be caused by any significant blunt force trauma to the head (such as a fall, a caraccident, or being struck on the head with an object).

By definition, aconcussion is not a life-threatening injury, but it can cause both short-termand long-term problems to a person. Post-concussionsyndrome, a complication that might arise from the lack of treatment, causesconcussion symptoms to last for weeks or even months. People who have had aconcussion also double their risk of developing epilepsy within the first fiveyears after the injury.There has also been evidence that people who have had multiple concussions overthe course of their lives may experience certain cumulative neurologicaldamage. There also seems to be a link between multiple concussions and the concludingdevelopment of Alzheimer's disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of concussion include: ringing in the ears, loss of consciousness,headache, slurred speech, nausea accompanied by vomiting, blurry vision,confusion, fatigue, possible loss of short-term memory, and perseverating (therepeating of the same question or a sentence, even after being told the answerover and over). However, symptoms vary from a person to a person. One might noteven know that they have had a concussion, because the symptoms have notappeared.

Prevention

There are several risky groups that are more prone to getting concussions moreoften than other people. It is important that they take certain precautions toavoid getting a concussion.

Ways of preventing concussions are:

Old people are at higher risk of falling, so they should be very careful andlimit their movements. Also, they should not wear heeled shoes.Children sometimes do not sense that they are in danger of hurting themselves, and that is why parents must take extra care of their children. This applies especially, if their child is used to "playing rough".When driving, one should not drink or talk on the phone. This increases therisk of one being in a car accident, which might lead to concussions. Athletes that play contact or high-risk sports should always wear protectivegear.

However, if one has already had a concussion, thereare a few things he or she should do not to cause any more damage to the brain.This means taking full rest, as prescribed by the doctor, avoiding environmentsthat might strain one’s eyes and ears, being regular with the medicationprescribed, etc. It is very important to follow the doctor’s instructions tprevent secondary injury to the head.

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