What Is a Concussion?

Suffering girl

Concussions have recently made headlines as part of the national debate on football safety, but it is not just NFL players who are at risk. Concussions can happen to anyone, and the impacts can be serious. If you happen to suffer a head injury, it’s important that you go to the hospital so you can be evaluated for a concussion. Here are some facts on concussions that you need to know:

Concussions Explained

A concussion is a minor form of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It usually occurs when something strikes the head or the head slams into something. Concussions can happen while you’re playing sports, during a car accident, or even during a fall. When the brain is jarred in such a collision, the way it functions is compromised. These changes are usually temporary, but can last for weeks. In rare instances, concussion symptoms can last indefinitely.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a concussion vary depending on the severity of the injury. Possible signs include confusion, headache, drowsiness, and the general sense that you’re not thinking clearly. Some people may see flashing lights or stars. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, and balance issues are also possible. With severe concussions, seizures, unconsciousness, and muscle weakness may occur. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, seek immediate medical care in an ER. Note that some people with concussions don’t experience any symptoms at all or experience symptoms for hours or even days after the initial injury. For this reason, you should always consult with your doctor after a head injury.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose a condition, your doctor will perform a physical exam and check your reflexes. He or she may also order an EEG, head CT, or brain MRI to confirm the injury and check for bleeding. If you have a severe concussion, you will be admitted to the hospital. For a mild concussion, you will need to refrain from activities that could lead to further brain injury, like playing sports, until your symptoms go away.

MountainView Hospital’s emergency room and neurologists are ready to treat any kind of brain injury. Our Las Vegas hospital is also home to a stroke center, heart hospital, robotic surgery center, and more. Find out more about our full-service medical facility by calling (702) 233-5474 to speak with our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.

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