Know the Signs of Concussion

According to statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) covering the years 2006 through 2014, the number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) rose 53%. A concussion is technically a mild form of TBI. 

At Osteopathic Wellness Center in Ridgefield, Connecticut, we are well acquainted with concussions. Dr. David Johnston understands how scary a blow to the head can be, as well as the dangers that accompany such an injury. 

Greatest risks: sports and age

The people most likely to experience concussion are those who play sports and those who are elderly. A concussion is caused by a blow to the head, such as when you fall, get hit with a ball, or have an automobile accident. Children, teenagers and the elderly, the latter who are more prone to falls, are at the greatest risk of concussion. 

Bouncing brain

When your head is violently jolted, bumped hard, or otherwise hit, your brain can move inside your skull. That movement can cause damage to your brain cells, chemical changes in your brain, and in some cases, blood can pool inside your skull at the point of contact and press against your brain. 

Not always obvious

One of the scarier things about brain injury is that there aren’t always any obvious signs that damage has been done. You may have a concussion even if there’s no bleeding or bruising. So how do you know when to seek care, either for yourself or for someone you care about? 

First, if you’re the person who got a bump to the head, you may think you just “don’t feel right.” You may not be able to pinpoint what, exactly, is wrong, but something feels off. 

You might have a headache, or a more vague feeling of pressure in your head. Light and noise may bother you, or you may be feeling dizzy. Other symptoms you may notice include: 

If someone you care about has had a blow to the head, you may notice different symptoms. For example, it may be clear that the person doesn’t remember things that happened before or after the blow. They may also be behaving differently than normal. Other symptoms you may notice include: 

What to do

Symptoms aren’t apparent immediately, but if they develop within a few days or even a few weeks after a head injury, you should see Dr. Johnston for an evaluation. It’s important to make sure there’s nothing dangerous such as a fracture to your skull or bleeding inside your skull. 

Most often, a mild concussion heals with enough rest, good nutrition, and hydration. You may need to avoid bright lights and some activities until Dr. Johnston clears you to return to your normal schedule. 

If you have questions about concussions, sports, falls, or what you should know about TBI, book a consultation today at Osteopathic Wellness Center. 

You can schedule your appointment online easily at any time, or you can give us a call at 203-439-6816 and we’ll get your appointment on the calendar. You can also send a message to Dr. Johnston and the team here on our website.

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