What Exactly Is a Concussion?

A concussion results from a direct blow, jolt or bump to the head or body which causes the brain to move rapidly around inside the skull.

Our brains soft, delicate tissues are protected by a cushion of spinal fluid, encased by our thick and protective skulls.

When an impact is great enough, it can cause the brain to push past its protective spinal fluid cushion. The brain will then make direct contact with the skull, which can result in a concussion. This kind of injury to the brain can cause several different symptoms, such as headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, dizziness, and more.

Concussions are prevalent and vary in severity. Common causes of concussions include sports injuries and vehicle accidents.

When Should You See a Doctor?

It is imperative to see a doctor as soon as you can after an injury to the brain, no matter how small. Concussions can take several days to heal, and severe symptoms that are noticeable to medical professionals may not be noticeable to friends or family members.

Should You Sleep After a Concussion?

There is a long-standing myth that those who sustain concussions shouldn’t fall asleep. In most cases, it is perfectly safe to let a concussed person fall asleep as long as they are awake and holding a normal conversation after the injury. Sleep is the best thing you can do to heal.

It’s wise to monitor someone with a concussion for the first 3-6 hours after the injury, as this is the period it typically takes for more severe symptoms to begin.

WHEN TO SEEK EMERGENCY TREATMENT

It’s time to seek emergency help for a concussion if you:

  • Vomit multiple times
  • Feel extremely tired or have trouble staying awake for the first 3-6 hours
  • Have severe head pain or pain that progresses over the hours
  • Have slurred speech
  • Have also sustained a neck injury
  • Feel dizzy or like you can’t move normally
  • Have a seizure/seizures
  • Lose consciousness for 30 seconds or more at any point
  • For children and babies: any of the above symptoms, if they cry continuously, refuse to eat or breastfeed as normal, etc.

What To Do If You Experience a Concussion

Don’t panic. Check your symptoms, and have a friend or family member stick with you for the first 3-6 hours after the injury to make sure you’re okay. Call or visit a medical professional as soon as you can.

Some concussions may leave patients with long-term pain, dizziness, confusion, and more. If you are experiencing lingering effects from a concussion, call The Migraine and Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Provo, Utah to schedule your evaluation.

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