How to Treat a Concussion

Head Injuries

Jun 17, 2022


If you or a loved one is dealing with a concussion you are probably wondering about concussion symptoms, how to treat a concussion, and what to expect for recovery time.

Concussions, like all traumatic brain injuries, can be scary occurrences, leaving you wondering when things can go back to normal and if permanent damage has been done. Concussions are usually not life-threatening but should be taken seriously and treated accordingly.

If you or a loved one are experiencing the symptoms of a concussion, head to an emergency room as soon as possible.

What is a concussion?

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that are caused by impact to the brain, usually from blows to the head or whiplash, which causes the brain to jolt back and forth. This sudden movement can create chemical changes and damage brain cells, blood vessels, and nerves. In severe instances, a concussion may also cause the brain to bleed, which can be fatal.

Common causes of concussions are car crashes, falls, and playing contact sports. So, how can you tell if you have a concussion?

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Symptoms of concussions can vary greatly in severity and time of onset. Some people don’t experience symptoms until days after their injury, and some never experience them at all. Be on the lookout for:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in ears
  • Sudden onset of dizziness, nausea, and sweating
  • Confusion or sluggishness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise
  • Slurred speech, difficulty speaking
  • Memory loss, cognitive difficulties
  • Changes in personality

Although many of the symptoms alone wouldn’t send you running for the emergency room, if they appear after a blow to the head, they should be taken a bit more seriously.

Continue reading: Should I go to the hospital for a headache?

Concussion symptoms in children

Symptoms can present a bit differently for children. Look for the following symptoms if a child hit their head:

  • Loss of balance
  • Irritability
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Change in eating habits
  • Loss of interest in activities, lack of energy

If none of these symptoms are present in your child after a bump on the head, you should continue to closely monitor their behavior for at least 24 hours.

Should I go to the ER for a concussion?

Anything that looks or feels like a cause for alarm should be treated as a medical emergency. If you notice that a loved one who recently experienced a head injury is slurring their speech, vomiting, having seizures, or loses consciousness, seek medical care immediately.

Even if symptoms seem minor (such as a headache or nausea), see a doctor as soon as possible if symptoms do not subside or if they worsen. Sometimes concussions initially present themselves as common sports injuries, and it is up to loved ones or parents to convince the concussed person to see a doctor.

What are the steps to treat a concussion?

The doctor will ask for a detailed account of the injury and assess the vision, hearing, speech, coordination, and balance of the patient. They will also investigate whether the patient’s cognitive abilities were affected through memory and concentration tests, often employing the use of X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs to confirm diagnoses.

Once the patient has been diagnosed with a concussion, they usually just need monitored rest. Physical and mental rest, as well as things like IV fluids for dehydration, are usually all that is needed to heal from a concussion, but the brain works in mysterious ways, and complications are not uncommon.

Complications from a concussion can include chronic headaches, dizziness, and seizures, and serious and repeated concussions can lead to serious cognitive decline. Concussion protocol can seem unnecessarily long, but the consequences of not healing completely, or going out and getting another concussion, are often severe. The best head concussion treatment, unfortunately, is concussion prevention.

How to prevent concussions

Accidents are often unavoidable, but there are things that you can do to reduce concussion risk factors:

  • Exercising regularly can strengthen muscles, increasing balance and stamina and ultimately preventing falls and undue injury.
  • Wearing protective gear while playing contact sports (or even riding a bicycle) can make sure that accidents don’t result in traumatic brain injuries. Bike accident injury treatment still consists of an alarming number of concussions, but helmets consistently save lives.
  • Wearing your seatbelt in the car significantly reduces your risk of brain injury, should you get into a wreck.
  • Keeping a well-lit and tidy home to make sure that slips and falls don’t happen, no matter your age.

If you or a loved one has a concussion, trust Complete Care to take care of you.

The medical professionals at Complete Care are trained to know how to treat a concussion. The symptoms of a concussion can feel scary, so be sure to seek medical attention at the first sight of a problem. You don’t have to deal with this alone. We will make sure that you’re on the path towards a full recovery, and that you get the treatment you need, any day, any time.

Whether you’re nearby one of our many Texas ER locations or in Colorado Springs, Complete Care can get you the care you need after a concussion. No appointment necessary.

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