What happens when you have a concussion?

Each year in the United States, players of sports and recreational activities receive between 2.5 and 4 million concussions.

“Concussion, also known as minor head trauma or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. It is typically defined as a head injury with a temporary loss of brain function. Symptoms include a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms, which may not be recognized if subtle. A variety of signs accompany concussion including a headache, feeling in a fog, and emotional changeability. In general, the signs can be categorized into physical signs (such as loss of consciousness or amnesia), behavioral changes (such as irritability), cognitive impairment (such as slowed reaction times), and sleep disturbances. Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with loss of consciousness.

Common causes include sports injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, and falls, the latter two being the most frequent causes among adults. In addition to a blow to the head, concussion may be caused by acceleration forces without a direct impact, and on the battlefield, MTBI is a potential consequence of nearby explosions. It is not clear exactly what damage is done and how the symptoms are caused, but stretching of axons and changes in ion channels are involved. Cellular damage has reportedly been found in concussed brains, but it may have been due to artifacts from the studies. It is currently thought that structural and neuropsychiatric factors may both be responsible for the effects of a concussion.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion

Short Term Effects of a Concussion

In addition to the loss of balance or dizziness, concussions may cause:

  • Headache
  • A temporary loss of consciousness
  • Feeling as if your brain is in a fog
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Head trauma is very common in young children, especially in toddlers who are learning to walk, run and play. Short-term effects may be difficult to recognize in children because youngsters may not be able to describe how they feel. After a child hits his head, watch for nonverbal clues of a concussion, such as:

  • Appearing dazed
  • Listlessness
  • Tires out easily
  • Irritability, crankiness
  • Excessive crying
  • Loss of balance
  • Unsteady walking
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns

https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2016/11/concussion.php

 

 

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