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6 Signs of a Concussion

6 Signs of a Concussion

Although concussions can happen both on and off sports fields, they are a common sports injury, affecting up to 3 million athletes each year. Concussions are so prevalent that they’ve been named a silent epidemic.

Because concussions are a type of mild brain injury, it’s important to approach treatment with seriousness. Without adequate concussion treatment, you’re at risk for developing prolonged symptoms 一 a problem that affects 10-30% of people with concussions.

If you think you (or a loved one) suffered a concussion, it’s important to seek medical attention. At KAI Sports Medicine LLC, specialist Zachary Perlman, DO is here to help you recover from your concussion and reduce your risk of lingering concussion symptoms.

Below, we highlight six signs of a concussion and what to do if you’ve sustained this injury.

6 signs of a concussion

A common false misconception is that you lose consciousness if you have a concussion — this isn’t always true.

1. Loss of consciousness 

Not everyone with a concussion loses consciousness, but it is a possibility. Even if you didn’t lose consciousness, you might feel disoriented or confused. 

Note: If you or a loved one lose consciousness, it’s important to be evaluated at the emergency department. If you witnessed someone else losing consciousness, note how long the person was unconscious (if possible) and share this information with paramedics or other emergency response personnel. 

2. Memory problems 

Short-term amnesia, such as forgetting the moments that led up to the injury, is common with traumatic brain injuries. In addition to amnesia, concussions can also cause other memory issues, including brain fog, slow thinking processes, and having a hard time recalling new information. 

A single concussion can cause memory problems; studies show that the risk of memory problems increases if you sustain an additional concussion before your brain has healed from the first one.

3. Pain and Nausea

Concussions cause head pain at the area where the blow occurred. However, concussions can also cause headaches and neck pain. 

Nausea and vomiting are two signs of an initial concussion, but sometimes nausea can linger even weeks later. Vomiting repeatedly after a concussion could indicate the need to call 9-1-1.

4. Balance problems 

Concussions can make you feel dizzy, woozy, or off-balance. This accounts for about 30% of people with concussions, and it also can contribute to nausea and vomiting. Poor balance can increase the risk of you falling and hitting your head again, so it’s important to take this symptom seriously to prevent additional brain injuries.

5. Vision issues

According to the American Optometric Association, about 90% of concussion patients have eye symptoms. This means you might experience blurry vision, see “stars,” or have an increased sensitivity to light. You might also have double vision, trouble or poor tracking, and feel more intense eye strain.

6. Anxiety and irritability 

Physical symptoms of concussions 一 nausea, headaches, dizziness 一 are well-known, but the reality is that concussions can also cause emotional symptoms. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions cause emotional problems such as irritability, anxiety, and anger.

Healing after a concussion

All head injuries should be treated critically, and in some cases, require immediate emergency medical attention. According to the CDC, the following danger signs warrant a 9-1-1 call: 

After emergency medical care, your symptoms should continue to improve as you fully recover. 

How we can help treat concussions

Physical and mental rest is an important part of your concussion recovery. Avoiding strenuous activities such as participating in athletics, allows your brain to heal and reduces the risk of complicating your recovery with a second concussion. Other treatments may include pain relievers, physical therapies, and mind-body techniques. Our goal is to help alleviate your symptoms now and prevent long-term side effects.

To learn more about concussion treatment options, request an appointment online at KAI Sports Medicine in Little Silver, New Jersey or call our office at 732-369-9767.

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