Why Concussion Treatment is Important
Not sure whether or not to seek concussion treatment?
Although concussions are relatively common, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. While most people will fully recover from a concussion, there are some important considerations to keep in mind if you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from this brain injury.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The most common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Amnesia — Memory loss immediately before the event that caused the concussion
- Confusion — Not understanding what just happened, feeling disoriented
- Delayed response — Not moving or responding as quickly
- Headache — Typically a pressure headache
- Lack or coordination — Clumsy and unsure , a lack of balance
- Neck pain
- Seeing stars
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
Surprisingly, one of the less common symptoms of concussion is loss of consciousness. Contrary to popular belief, concussions don’t always exhibit a loss of consciousness. In fact, most people who’ve experienced a concussion never “pass out” or “faint”, even though injury has occurred.
Some symptoms of concussion may not be immediately present. These symptoms can pop up in the hours, days, or even weeks following a concussion. Be on the look out for these symptoms which indicate that you’re still not fully recovered from the brain injury.
When Do You Need to Seek Medical Attention for a Concussion?
While most people with mild traumatic brain injuries will recover on their own with a combination of time and rest, there are symptoms that require immediate medical attention. You’ll want to seek out professional concussion treatment if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:
- Inability to recognize known people or places
- Inability to wake up
- Loss of consciousness for longer than one minute
- Neck pain
- One pupil larger than the other
- Persistent vomiting
- Slurring speech
- Worsening confusion
- Worsening headaches
What Are the Dangers of Not Getting Concussion Treatment?
The number one concussion treatment is rest.
Going back to work or play before you’re ready can put you at an increased risk for receiving a second concussion. During recovery, you may be even more susceptible to stumbles or falls due to the concussion-related symptoms of delayed response or lack of coordination.
If you get a second concussion before fully healing from the initial injury, you could cause irreparable damage to the brain.
An unexpected side effect of concussion is depression. Because rest is a mandatory treatment for concussion, those who are recovering from a concussion often feel like they are sidelined from their daily lives and the activities that they love (such as sports). Resting also includes mental rest, so it can temporarily impact one’s ability to work or study. The mandate to rest often means isolation from one’s social circle, which can exacerbate depression.
Left unchecked, depression can lead to loss of appetite or sleep, and even thoughts of suicide.
If you’re worried that you’re experiencing post-concussion depression, speak with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication or treatment to help you better manage your depression.
Remember that if you suspect a concussion but recover quickly without any lingering symptoms, it may not be necessary to see your doctor. Follow your body’s cue, and take it easy. Rest is always a preferred treatment following a concussion because it will give your brain a chance to perform necessary repairs.
However, if your symptoms are getting worse, not better, or you are exhibiting new symptoms following a concussion, it’s important to seek medical help.
The doctor will want to perform medical tests to check for more serious consequences of concussion. Your doctor may perform one of the following:
- A CT Scan — This is a computerized x-ray that allows the doctor to scan the brain for any bleeding or swelling.
- An MRI Scan — Short for Magnetic Resonance Imagining, this scan provides even more detailed images of the brain, using radio frequency.
- A Neurological Exam — During a neurological exam, the doctor will evaluate motor function, reflexes, strength, and balance to determine the severity of your brain injury.
Following a concussion, you may require hospitalization. During this time, you will be observed to ensure that your symptoms don’t get any worse.
If you’ve experienced a concussion before, be sure to share this information with your doctor.
The last thing you should do in response to concussion symptoms is to prescribe your own medication. While it may be okay to take medications such as ibuprofen, you shouldn’t do so without consent from a doctor. The danger is that you could mask worsening symptoms and cause more harm than good.
Here’s What To Do Immediately After a Suspected Concussion
Seek medical attention, but don’t just head to your nearest emergency room. You need and individualized evaluation from neurological experts who know what to look for. Here at Cerebrum, we use the latest research to examine the brain and determine treatment.
When the health of your brain is at stake, you’ll want to consult with a team of experts. Let’s schedule your consultation.