Concussions are more common in men. Things that raise the risk of this problem are:
Playing organized sports
A prior concussion
A concussion can cause symptoms that may last for days, weeks, or even longer. They may be start right away or a few hours or days after the injury. Common physical problems are:
Ringing in the ears and problems hearing
Balance and coordination problems
Nausea and vomiting
Sensitivity to sounds and lights
Other problems may be:
Lack of focus
Problems paying attention
Loss of memory
Slow processing speed
Slow reaction time
Problems completing tasks
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, past health, and how injury happened. A physical exam will be done. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
Concussions should be examined by a doctor. Most will be able to heal at home after exam. Those with severe symptoms may be kept in the hospital for monitoring.
The goal of treatment is to let the brain rest so that it can heal. Some rest is recommended for first 24 to 48 hours but full rest is not always needed. It may take longer for all symptoms to pass. Recovery may require:
Time off from sports
Limiting mentally-demanding activities, such as schoolwork and using devices with screens
Therapy to help with cognitive function
Steps will need to be taken to prevent a second brain injury. It can lead to serious problems.
To lower the risk of concussion:
Use seat belts, shoulder harnesses, and child safety seats when traveling in motor vehicles.
Children should use safe, age-appropriate methods when playing sports.
Wear a helmet when doing activities such as:
Playing a contact sport like football, soccer, or hockey
Riding a bike or motorcycle
Using skates, scooters, and skateboards
Catching, batting, or running bases in baseball or softball
Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/concussion-and-mild-traumatic-brain-injury. Accessed May 13, 2020.
Lumba-Brown A, Yeates KO, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Nov 1;172(11):e182853.
Sports-related concussion information for athletes. Wesleyan University Athletic Injury Care website. Available at: http://athletics.wesleyan.edu/Performance_-_Care/concussions. Accessed May 13, 2020.
Traumatic brain injury and concussion. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/index.html. Accessed May 13, 2020.
What can I do to help feel better after a mild traumatic brain injury? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/recovery.html. Updated February 12, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.
2/21/2017 EBSCO DynaMed Systematic Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/concussion-and-mild-traumatic-brain-injury: Grool AM, Aglipay M, et al. Association between early participation in physical activity following acute concussion and persistent postconcussive symptoms in children and adolescents. JAMA. 2016 Dec 20;316(23)2504-2514.
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