You are ten questions away from diagnosing a concussion
You haven’t been well in a long time. You experience recurring headaches that you try to pass off as a migraine. You feel dizzy without any reason. It often precedes nausea or vomiting. Your appetite is unusually low, and eating does not help with nausea at all. People have been telling you to get some sleep, but you are already sleeping for over 10-hours every day and waking up tired. Or, you are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep suddenly.
These are all signs of a brain injury. It is possible that you have sustained a mild brain injury without really realizing. Small bumps and blows on the head can lead to contusions of the brain that cause a concussion. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults and children report to the ER with symptoms of a concussion. These are common injuries on the sports field. Footballers and hockey players often complain of increased nausea, headaches and confusion after a sharp blow to their head or a powerful tackle.
Nonetheless, concussions can happen anywhere to anyone. The impact does not have to be exceedingly powerful to give someone a concussion. Bumping into a tree branch while text-walking is sometimes enough to cause a contusion on the brain.
How to tell if you have a concussion?
Sometimes, people don’t even realize they have a concussion, and they carry on with their lives as nothing has happened. It is something we have seen way too often in the cases of sub-concussive blows. These are asymptomatic blows that can make your mind vulnerable to all future concussions and lay the groundwork for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Therefore, it is imperative for anyone to find out whether their accident or mishap led to a concussive episode. Visit Concussionanswers.com to find out more about the dangers of sub-concussive hits and repeated concussions.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to judge the level of trauma –
1.Do you have headaches?
Concussions rarely occur without headaches. These headaches can come and go, or they can be chronic. It is common to mistake them for stress headaches or migraines for those, who suffer from these afflictions. If you have headaches, you might want to move to the next question.
2. Do you have nausea or vomiting?
Nausea or the urge to vomit is common after a severe head injury. Even mild traumatic brain injuries often cause nausea in the patient, irrespective of his or her age or the site of the injury. Feeling nauseous after a blow to the head can be a sign of a concussion.
3. Did you vomit after the injury?
Vomiting after a head injury is not necessary. However, if it has happened, there is a high chance that you have a concussion. Apart from taking anti-emetics to keep nausea, vertigo, and vomiting in check, you should visit a head trauma or concussion expert for a consultation.
4. Are you experiencing trouble balancing?
Sometimes, head injuries can affect the balance and coordination of a person. It can affect simple tasks like walking on a straight line or riding a bike. It is indeed annoying, and it increases the chances of falling again. If you are having trouble with balance and coordination, call the emergency helpline. Or, ask your friends or family member to drive you to the doctor’s office immediately. Do not attempt driving or riding immediately after a possible concussion.
5. Is there persistent dizziness?
We have all felt head rushes while getting up from a sitting position suddenly. You can compare the feeling of acute dizziness with a head rush, except, when you are dizzy from a concussion, you will feel it round the clock. Standing up or standing on a raised platform may increase the dizziness, but some report feeling it even when lying in bed.
6. Are you experiencing problems with your vision?
Another sign of a concussion is blurriness of vision. You may find it difficult to see, or the objects might seem blurry. You may notice this immediately after the hit, or this symptom may appear in a couple of hours after the incident. If you have any trouble with your eyesight after a hard fall or a sharp blow to the head, you should consult a concussion expert before speaking to your ophthalmologist.
7. Are you perpetually tired?
People who experience concussions often report feeling easily fatigued and perpetually tired after the incident. You might find it difficult to get out of bed or walk to the pharmacy. Do not mistake this for passing laziness. It is not always possible to sleep this “tedium” off. We have seen patients sleep for 10-hours straight and then sleep some more, but wake up more tired than they ever were. Feeling more tired than usual after a head trauma might be a sign of a concussion.
8. Are you suddenly highly sensitive to light and/or sound?
A forceful blow to the head can result in contusions. Depending on where they are, and how dangerous they are, you may or may not experience heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Instead of drawing the curtains and switching off the light, you should give your GP a call right away.
9. Do you have brain fog?
Brain fog is genuinely annoying. It can make you feel confused and disoriented. While brain fog may not be persistent after a concussion, it is possible to experience bouts of it after waking up from sleep. You can experience these phases suddenly while working, driving or conversing. That is one of the prime reasons it demands expert attention.
10. Are you having trouble remembering new information?
Temporary loss of memory and trouble remembering new information are telltale signs of concussions. It may go away in a few weeks by itself, but for many unfortunate souls, the loss of short-term memory can become a menace. It can create trouble in work life and family life.
You may have a few symptoms out of the ten we have mentioned here, or you may experience additional signs including tingling in your limbs, emotional instability (easily irritable) or having trouble answering simple questions. These are all signs that you need to pay attention to your brain health. Do not let concussions become a long-term challenge. With the right therapy and comprehensive concussion treatment, you can gain the control of your life back.