Concussion symptoms and associated risks.
It’s important to watch for symptoms and signs of concussion following a traumatic collision or injury, not only within the patient him or herself, but involving those around the person following the incidence. The patient may not exhibit outward signs of concussion or post concussion syndrome, due to many reasons, namely a confusion around what they may be feeling, a high threshold for pain or discomfort, or a “tough” demeanor in an attempt to remain playing or doing the things they enjoy that may have caused the injury.
Know the symptoms. Know the risks. You could help someone more than you think.
Along with many frequently asked questions you may have, here are some of the symptoms and risks to consider in relation to concussion.
Typical Concussion Symptoms
Right at the time of injury or shortly after many people will experience any or all of the following:
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Memory disturbances or memory lapses
- Difficulty concentrating or retaining new information
- Trouble falling asleep
- Trouble staying asleep
Some symptoms may last only an hour or two, while others may persist up to a week or more.
If a person develops new symptoms after going home from the Emergency Room or doctor’s office, it’s best to once again consult with your physician right away.
Symptoms persisting for 3 weeks or longer following the initial injury event may indicate post concussion syndrome. Medical treatment and further evaluation should be sought in these cases.
Risks Associated with Concussion
Concussions generally do not cause permanent damage. However, in rare instances a concussion can lead to a bleed within the tissue that surrounds the brain. This can be life threatening so it is important that the person with a concussion be watched by others.
Important signs of an internal bleed are:
- Worsening headache
- Continued vomiting – even after returning home
- Increased dizziness or drowsiness
- Increased confusion or disorientation
Most people find that the symptoms of concussion are gone within a few days. However the chemical changes in the brain do not return to normal for at least a week and during this time it is important not to experience another blow to the head.
If symptoms persist for a week or more you should go to your doctor or a concussion clinic for further evaluation. In rare cases a person can have symptoms that persist for three or more weeks and this is called “post concussion syndrome”. Post concussion syndrome should definitely be treated by a knowledgeable health care practitioner. If untreated, post concussion syndrome can lead to difficulties at work or school, not to mention considerable discomfort to the person with the symptoms.
Simply stated, if symptoms appear to get worse, get to an emergency department immediately.