A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that can happen when your head receives a hard blow.
Your brain is the most fragile organ in the body, with the same texture and consistancy as gelatin.
Your skull provides a hard protective shell around your brain.
A watery substance called cerebrospinal fluid, surrounds your brain.
Cerebrospinal fluid cushions your brain against impacts with the wall of your skull during everyday head movements.
This cushioning effect protects the billions of nerve cells, called neurons, inside your brain.
Each neuron communicates with other neurons through electrical signals that travel down a long thread-like extension, called an axon.
A hard blow to your head can cause your brain to strike the inside of your skull.
During the impact, your brain squeezes against the inside of your skull, sending shock waves through your brain.
These shock waves tear or stretch the axons of some neurons. This trauma is called diffuse axonal injury, or axonal shearing.
The damaged axons reduce normal brain function by interrupting communication between the neurons.
Depending on where your brain is injured, physical symptoms of concussion may include headache, nausea, dizziness, poor muscle coordination,
light sensitivity, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, and loss of consciousness.
You may have mental and emotional symptoms, including disorientation, confusion, memory loss,
inability to focus and concentrate, irritability, and depression.
For a mild concussion, your doctor will advise you to rest and monitor your symptoms to make sure they don’t get worse.
You may receive prescriptions for mild pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Only take drugs recommended by your doctor, as others, such as alcohol, may slow the healing of your brain.
Whether or not you’ve been to the doctor, if you experience loss of consciousness, a headache that won’t go away,
vomiting, or slurred speech, you should seek emergency medical attention. These symptoms are danger signs for serious complications of concussion.