Concussion

Overview of Concussion

Concussion is one of the most common brain injuries in the world. Every year, there are about 3 million cases in the US. Concussion occurs frequently in people involved in sport activities. Although concussion is not usually fatal, its effects can be serious and lasting. Concussion is treatable by medical professionals. 

 

Causes

Concussion is usually the result of sudden head movement, like a pump or a fall, which leads to violent push of the brain against the skull. This may cause damage to brain tissues and blood vessels, hence, impair brain function.

 

Signs

If following signs are observed after hits in the head, individuals may be diagnosed with concussion:

  • Loss of memory regarding the accidents

  • Feeling shocked and/or confused

  • Difficulty with physical activities

  • Slow response to surrounding environments. 

 

Symptoms

Common symptoms include headaches, loss of memory, confusion and dizziness. Other physical signs are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and fatigue. Temporary loss of consciousness and impairment to cognitive functions such as speech and comprehension may happen to some. Symptoms can also appear days after the incidents, including irritability, personality changes, sensitivity to light and noise, sleep disturbances, psychological adjustment problems and disorders of taste and smell.

 

Risk Factors

  • Falling

  • Participating in high-risk sport activities

  • Car accidents

  • Involved in physical abuses

  • Have a history of concussion

 

Respond to Concussion

  • Remove individuals to safe environments

  • Seek urgent medical help if symptoms are severe (loss of consciousness, nausea and amnesia)

  • Seek medical care within 1 to 2 days of events even though symptoms are mild. Observe any abnormal signs. 

  • Tests for concussion

  • Follow medical advice and take a rest

 

Prevention

  • Wear protective gear properly during physical activities

  • Drive safely and wear seatbelts 

  • Cover sharp edges at home

  • Avoid focusing on phone screens on the streets

  • Exercise regularly 

 

References:

“Concussion - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 22 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/symptoms-causes/syc-20355594#:%7E:text=A%20concussion%20is%20a%20traumatic,a%20blow%20to%20the%20head.

“Brain Injury Basics | HEADS UP | CDC Injury Center.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Mar. 2019, www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/index.html.

Wright, Suzanne. “Concussion.” WebMD, 13 Oct. 2008, www.webmd.com/brain/concussion-traumatic-brain-injury-symptoms-causes-treatments#3.

Resources by Cassie Wang