Dealing with a Concussion

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that affect brain function in some way. These are normally caused by a blow to the head, but it may also be the result of whiplash, in situations where the head is shaken violently. Not every hit to the head necessarily causes a concussion, and concussions are often temporary. However, when a concussion does a occur, its symptoms can be quite severe, such as memory loss, headaches, loss of balance and coordination, and an overall altered state of consciousness. In some cases one may also lose consciousness.

If you have recently suffered a lost of consciousness following a head injury, you may have experienced a concussion. This may be a sign of severe head trauma and necessitates an examination by a professional. We recommend you setup an appointment with these Best Neurologist in Lahore, if you require one in that city and do not know of one already.

Symptoms

As mentioned above, the symptoms of a concussion can vary greatly from one instance to another. They can range from mild headaches to a complete loss of consciousness. The symptoms may manifest immediately, or take some moments to become noticeable. They can last from less than a day to over a week. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble with balancing and coordination
  • Slowed reflexes and responses
  • Mood or personality changes
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty falling asleep, or having irregular sleeping patterns

Causes

The brain is not housed tightly within the skull, but instead floats within a jelly-like cerebrospinal fluid which acts as a shock-absorbent barrier. However, hard impacts can cause the brain and its membrane to hit the sides of the skull, resulting in damage to brain tissue. If the trauma is severe enough, cerebrospinal fluid may even leak out. The damage may also be caused by whiplash, which is the rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, causing the skull to swiftly move towards the brain without cushioning. Whiplash can be the result of a car crash, or being violently shaken through some other means. Along with direct damage, there may also be hemorrhaging, which is the internal bleeding in and around the brain. This can cause symptoms of drowsiness and confusion. Brain hemorrhages can sometimes be fatal, which is why one that suffers a brain injury is normally monitored for hours following initial trauma.

Treatment

As mentioned above, the severity of symptoms can greatly vary, and hence, treatment also varies. Most concussions are mild enough to be treated at home, but some may require immediate medical attention. The available treatment options include:

  • Avoiding alcohol, which slow recovery and have adverse reactions with other medications
  • Avoiding any strenuous activities or exercises that require a lot of concentration or coordination
  • Resting for a considerable amount of time following initial trauma and onset of symptoms
  • Ensuring that you are well hydrated, and accounting for water lost through vomiting
  • Minimising the time spent looking at digital screens and bright lights which could worsen the symptoms of a concussion
  • Painkillers or analgesics, such as ibuprofen, in order to deal with any head pains or aches
  • Slowly increasing physical activity after symptoms have considerably lessened have been shown to speed recovery

If you have recently suffered head trauma and have noticed a few symptoms of a concussion, we recommend you get diagnosed by a professional immediately. The physicians at Saifee Hospital are great options for a consultation if you require one in Karachi.

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