Cranial Conditions

Concussion

Concussion

It’s only ok for a cartoon character to see stars when he hits his head. You might have a concussion. Learn more here:

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a frequently occurring brain injury resulting from a sudden impact to the head or upper body. This impact disrupts normal brain function, often leading to mild and temporary issues that can escalate if not treated promptly.

How Concussions Happen

The brain is safeguarded by cerebrospinal fluid, encased in protective meninges, and further shielded by the skull. A concussion arises when a forceful blow to the head or upper body causes the brain to collide with the skull’s interior. Such incidents can occur in accidents, falls, or head impacts, with contact sports representing a common scenario. In severe cases, this collision with the skull can harm the meninges, causing bleeding and dangerous pressure within the brain.

Symptoms

Concussion symptoms vary in intensity. Brief loss of consciousness, headaches, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, visual disturbances, nausea, and ringing in the ears are common. Some symptoms may manifest hours or days later, including memory issues, irritability, depression, sleep disturbances, and sensitivity to light or noise.

Diagnosis

Medical evaluation involves neurologic exams to assess memory, concentration, balance, reflexes, and vision. If a concussion is suspected, a CT scan is often performed to gauge its severity. Patients may require overnight monitoring, as worsening symptoms could indicate critical brain swelling or bleeding.

Treatment

Immediate rest from both mental and physical activities is crucial at the onset of a concussion. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen can alleviate headaches. Close observation is necessary within the first 24 hours to monitor symptom progression. Individuals with a history of concussions must avoid further head trauma to prevent Second Impact Syndrome, a potentially fatal condition characterized by rapid brain swelling. Consequently, returning to activities such as sports should only occur once concussion symptoms have fully subsided.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.