What Is Concussion?
Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, “[It] alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Although concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken.”
Concussions are caused by a wide range of things, from car accidents to shaken baby syndrome. Violent blows to the head and neck can cause the brain to slide back and forth within your skull, and sudden acceleration or deceleration (car accident, violent shaking, etc.) can cause injuries to your brain. These can lead to bleeding within the brain, which can be life threatening if left untreated.
Symptoms of Concussion
Depending on the severity of the concussion, there is a wide range of symptoms that might present. You’ll need to watch for the following:
- A feeling of pressure within the skull
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Ringing in the ears
- Strange/abnormal tastes and smells
- Sleep disturbance
- Memory loss
Treatment for a concussion will depend on the severity of the injury. Many patients are sent home with pain medication to rest, but others may have to spend time in the hospital. Only a doctor can determine which treatment option is best for a specific patient.