Any injury to the head can be serious. But how do you know if you’ve suffered a concussion?
That word does sound a little scary.
A concussion is classified as a “mild” traumatic brain injury. However, anything where the head is concerned should be taken seriously.
A slip and fall or a car accident can cause a blow to the head. It doesn’t have to be a hard hit. Just the sudden jolt can cause the brain to move irregularly inside your skull.
This can cause damage to brain cells and lead to chemical changes in the brain.
Even though a concussion isn’t considered life threatening, the symptoms can last for weeks or longer.
What Are The Symptoms?
Sometimes a concussion can be difficult to self-diagnose. The main reason is that the most common symptom is a headache.
If you fall and bang your head, you will most likely have a headache either way. So how can you tell if it’s a concussion?
Losing consciousness at the time of the accident is a definite sign. If that happens, have someone get you to a hospital or doctor immediately.
Another sign would be if the headache gets worse and persists for the next few days.
Other symptoms can include:
- Blurry or double vision
- Light or noise sensitivity
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling like you’re in a fog
If you start feeling any of these, you should definitely seek medical help. Then a doctor can run the tests needed to determine the extent of your injury.
If you are diagnosed as having a concussion, you need to take steps to alleviate the symptoms and allow your brain time to heal. Here are some tips to decrease your symptoms and speed recovery:
- Get some sleep – our brains recover from everyday use when we sleep. If you’ve suffered a concussion, sleep is even more important. Even short naps during the day can be helpful if you’re having any of the symptoms mentioned earlier.
- Avoid things that make you feel worse –it’s important to know that being on your feet for too long brings on dizziness. Or a bright sunny day makes your headache really pound.
- Keep physical activity to a minimum – you might be used to jogging or biking a few times week. Don’t push yourself. Your body needs time to recover, too. Maybe do some walking or a stationary bike for a few weeks.
- Listen to your head and body – they will let you know when you’ve recovered sufficiently enough to return to your regular activities.
Every person is different is how their bodies deal with injuries. You need to determine what works best for you.
There is no set timetable when it comes to concussions either. And typically for those who have suffered one multiple times, each one takes longer for recovery.
In our next article, we will discuss how physical therapy can help speed recovery and get you back to feeling like yourself!