Concussions Allison Ross

Are there long lasting effects of concussions?

Most concussion last 1-6 weeks this would be a best case scenario, and after this time there are still some symptoms but they are not as bad. Other concussions can last years or even decades with leaving permanent damage on the brain. Some people have post-concussion syndrome that include physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. There is no real long-term effects other than problems paying attention, short-term memory, have difficulty doing daily tasks, and an overall feeling of being slower.

These are some symptoms that may last longer then others;

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
  • bad temper
  • the sense that you “just don’t feel like yourself"
  • having troubles making decisions
  • troubles processing a lot of information
  • trouble resolving problems

What is a concussion? What does it mean to have a concussion?

What should I do if I have a concussion?

Most symptoms of a concussion can set in within a day, week or even months. These are some things to look out for;

  • brief loss of consciousness after the injury
  • memory problems
  • confusion
  • drowsiness or feeling
  • sluggish
  • dizziness
  • double vision or blurred vision
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • balance problems
  • slowed reaction to stimuli

If your recovering from a concussion you may experience these things;

  • irritability
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mild headaches

Some emergency symptoms would be;

  • an inability to wake up (also called a coma)
  • seizures
  • draining of blood or clear fluid from the ears or nose
  • unequal pupil size (one pupil is larger than the other)
  • abnormal eye movement
  • lasting confusion
  • slurred speech
  • repeated vomiting
  • weak muscles
  • problems walking

The best help for yourself or someone you know with a concussion is to find a concussion doctor or someone who specializes in concussions. Most people recover from their concussions, it takes different amounts of time for everyone. Some people it takes a few months with long last symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Others will recover and feel better in a matter of a few weeks. In the US 1.6-3.8 million concussions occur pre year. This is defined as trauma induced alteration in mental status (not thinking right.) Those who have experienced a concussion with loss of consciousness are 6 times more likely to have another concussion.

How to help your concussion;

For adults;

  • Get lots of sleep at night and rest during the day
  • Do not participate in activities that are physically demanding (such as heavy housecleaning, sports, working-out) or that require a lot of concentration (such as balancing your checkbook). They can make your symptoms worse and make your recovery time slow down.
  • Avoid activities such as contact or very physical sports, that could possibly lead to another concussion. (It is best to avoid roller coasters or other fast rides that can make your symptoms worse or could even cause another concussion.)
  • Talk with your healthcare professional or your family doctor about when you can return to work.

For kids;

  • Having the child get plenty of rest. Keep a regular sleep schedule, including no late nights and no sleepovers.
  • Giving the child only those drugs that are approved by the pediatrician or family physician.
  • Sharing information about concussion with parents, siblings, teachers, counselors, babysitters, coaches, and others who interact with the child helps them understand what has happened and how to meet the child’s needs.

Can a concussion last decades?

It does not matter how long ago the concussion happened someone can still have brain damage and be affected from the concussion years later. Athletes who go back to their sport too quickly after a concussion and afterward suffer another one are at a very high risk of serious brain damage. Concussion causes temporary loss of brain function leading to cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms such as confusion, vomiting, headache, nausea, depression, disturbed sleep, moodiness, and amnesia.

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