A Care Guide for Concussions
Concussions are a common injury and most people recover quickly. Still, all brain injuries need to be taken seriously to protect your physical and mental health. This guide will help you to better understand concussions and gives important information for treating and preventing them.
The Facts About Concussions
1. Understand what happens when you get a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that shakes your brain. Usually, your skull and spinal fluid provide protection and a safe cushion but a severe blow can jar your brain. Common causes include car accidents, falls and sports.
2. Recognize the symptoms. Mental and physical symptoms include difficulty with thinking and remembering, headaches, blurred vision and a loss of energy. You may also experience emotional distress and sleep disturbances. Some people get drowsy and others may have trouble falling asleep.
3. Get emergency medical care if you pass out. The majority of concussions involve no loss of consciousness. If you do black out even briefly, urgent care is needed to assess your condition.
4. Spot other danger signs. Severe or repeated concussions may require hospitalization. Get help immediately if you experience vomiting, intense headaches, slurred speech or loss of balance. Look to see if one pupil appears larger than the other.
5. Take special care with small children and teens. Young people may be at higher risk. In addition to the typical symptoms, small children often cry persistently or stop eating. Some studies have found that almost half of high school football players suffer at least one concussion.
6. Be aware of the risks for seniors. It’s easy to miss the symptoms of brain injuries in older people. Let your doctor know about any falls, especially if you take drugs like blood thinners, which could cause complications.
1. Get plenty of rest. Sleep and rest is the best remedy for any brain injury. Give your body time to heal.
2. See your doctor. A physician may ask you to answer questions that will reveal how well you can concentrate and reason. Tests like CT scans and MRIs will spot any bruising or bleeding.
3. Ask a loved one to watch you. If your doctor checks you out and says it’s safe to go home, ask a loved one to watch you until the next day. They can wake you up every few hours and check for any changes in your condition. If you can answer simple questions like your name and show no dangerous symptoms, your recovery is probably on track.
4. Pick the right pain relievers. Your doctor may give you a prescription or recommend Acetaminophen for headache pain. Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen because they tend to increase bleeding.
5. Stop drinking. It’s best to avoid alcohol during your recovery. Talk with your doctor about any drugs you are using to be sure they’re safe.
6. Take it easy. Postpone any challenging activities until your doctor says it’s safe. That includes physically and mentally demanding tasks like weight lifting or computer games.
1. Drive carefully. Wear your seat belt. Drink in moderation and use a designated driver if you imbibe too much.
2. Teach children basic safety rules. Train kids on how to cross the street. Require them to wear protective sports gear. Talk about playground safety and the dangers of roughhousing.
3. Correct hazards in your home. Inspect your house for things like slippery throw rugs or inadequate lighting. Purchase non slip bath mats and install guard rails on the stairs.
The human head is well designed for protecting your brain under normal conditions but sometimes accidents occur. Knowing how to prevent and treat concussions can help you to avoid injuries and speed up your recovery.