A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by an impact which bumps or shakes the brain inside the skull. This could be a blow to the head, a fall, or another type of accident. You don’t need to lose conciousness in order to sustain a concussion, although this can occasionally happen depending on the incident.
Concussion symptoms vary considerably and concussions in children can be substantially different from concussions in adults.
Some symptoms of concussion include:
- Headache and pain that won’t go away
- Difficulties with memory
- Struggling to concentrate or make decisions
- Slowed thinking, speaking, or reading
- Getting easily confused
- Changes in mood for no apparent reason
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Issues with balance including feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Issues with your vision
Contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will ask questions about the injury & may ask you questions that test your ability to pay attention, your learning, memory & problem-solving. They may also order other tests, neurological exams, a CT scan, or an MRI. Additionally, you should:
- Give yourself plenty of time to rest.
- Have someone stay with you for the first 24-48 hours
- Avoid all screens, cell phone, tv, computer etc.
- Don’t take any other medicines unless your doctor says it’s okay.
- Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.
- Make sure that you slowly return to any activities, one at a time. If your symptoms come back when you are doing an activity, stop and rest for a day.
Some people recover within a few days, for others it can take weeks, and some may have long-lasting symptoms. While approximately 80% of people with a concussion only experience symptoms for a few weeks, 20% of people experience symptoms for much longer. If you’ve experienced a concussion and are struggling, contact us.
Looking for more? Check out Brainline for additional information: http://www.brainline.org/landing_pages/categories/concussion.html
Victoria Brain Injury Society
Units C, D & E 830 Pembroke Street
Victoria, B.C. V8T 1H9