A concussion is an injury of the brain and surrounding tissues in which the brain is shaken inside the skull. This is actually the most frequent type of traumatic brain injury. After concussion the brain cannot function properly for short period of time.
While some people instantly develop symptoms of concussion, others survive the injury without any symptoms at all. In case that patients follow doctor's instruction and stay in bed for a few days they recover completely. Complications may require hospitalization and sometimes patients need to undergo surgery to prevent serious damage to the brain.
Causes of Concussion
The brain is surrounded by the skull which does not allow significant movements of the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid around the brain acts protective to brain tissue and prevents banging of the brain into the skull. In concussion the force is rather strong and causes bumping of the brain into the skull which temporarily stops its functions.
Concussion may result from fights, falls, sports injuries, and car and bike accidents.
Symptoms of Concussion
In case that concussion has cured the injured person must stop with the activity which has lead to concussion. This particularly refers to sport and similar activities. This way the brain has enough time to get back to normal.
The symptoms of concussion may vary a lot, especially in intensity, and can last from few hours to even several months.
Some of the possible symptoms include lightheadedness or complete loss of consciousness, confusion, ringing in the ears, loss of balance, nausea and vomiting, and temporary forgetfulness especially connected to the events which have occurred after the injury.
In some cases the symptoms may develop gradually and the condition can become even worse over time. This is so called post-concussive syndrome and it requires urgent medical help and treatment. Symptoms of post-concussive syndrome are lightheadedness and problems with walking or balance, problems with concentration and inability of the person to think, headaches, blurry vision, changes in sleep patterns, changes in personality, lack of interest in regular activities and changes in sex drive.
Treatment for Concussion
The injured person needs to be monitored and any new symptoms or changes in behavior need to be reported to the doctor. People who have suffered severe injury remain in hospital.
Any swelling of the skull is treated with ice packs or clod compresses while pain can be brought under control by painkillers. Usually the doctor prescribes painkillers. Bed rest and plenty of sleep are obligatory for all the patients. Patients need to restrain from alcohol, illegal drugs and activities which may cause repetitive head injury.