Concussion is a type of brain injury. It can produce brief temporary impairment of brain function, such as memory, judgment, balance, without causing any long term structural damage to the brain. It results in transient loss of consciousness followed by complete recovery. Concussion is considered to be the least serious injury of all types of brain injuries.
The meaning of concussion in Latin is ‘violent shaking’. Cerebral concussion results either from a direct blow to the head, or it can also occur when the upper part of the body is violently shaken.
Concussions are common traumatic brain injuries that occur while playing certain sports, such as football, hockey, rugby, and etc. Concussions can be divided in two types, a simple concussion where person may complain of headache, and altered alertness for a brief period after which the symptoms resolve on its own. When there is history of repeated concussion, it is termed as complex phenomenon. The symptoms may persist for a long time together with changes in thought process.
How Does Concussion Occur?
Human brain is a soft structure; just imagine the consistency of gelatin. It is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected from outside by hard bony skull.Normally, the spinal fluid acts as a cushion for daily jolts and saves the brain from hitting against the wall of skull. However, when your head is hit hard or the neck and upper part of body is shaken violently, the brain can slide to and fro against the inner wall of the skull. This can stop the brain to work for a brief period.
Concussion can occur when the head hits a stationary object or the moving object bumps against the head. This can occur due to many reasons. Some of the common causes for cerebral concussion include: Sports injury, fall, car accidents, and injuries while working, assault from a boxing punch, blast injuries usually among soldiers.
Symptoms Of Concussion
The symptoms concussion can range from mild to severe. It can last for few days or weeks, or months, before healing completely.
- Headache. Person may feel heaviness of head.
- Dizziness, often the patient complains of seeing stars.
- Ringing sound in ears.
- Difficulty in balancing himself.
- May walk with an improper gait.
- Sometimes there may be double vision.
- May not recollect the event that caused concussion.
- Person may find some changes in speech such as slurred speech etc.
Besides this some other emotional and delayed symptoms that can be seen are:
- Lack of concentration and memory.
- Mood changes.
- Increased sensitivity to external surrounding and objects such as light, noise etc.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Loss of interest in daily activities.
How To Diagnose A Concussion In Children?
Traumatic head injury is common among children. It is very difficult to recognize concussions in children because they do not have the ability to communicate as adults do. In such a scenario, few useful symptoms may be helpful in diagnosing concussion in children.
- Child becomes listless.
- Reduced activities.
- Feels drowsy.
- Raised level of irritability and crankiness.
- Unsteady walk.
- Child may complain of headache after injury.
- He may become cranky.
- Sleeps all the time.
- Confused and disorientation lasting for prolonged time.
- Blood discharge from nose or mouth.
Home Treatment For Concussion
Normally there is no treatment necessary for concussion. However, if there is bleeding from nose or ears, the patient must be kept under observation in a hospital.
If concussion is of milder variety, there may be no treatment necessary except observing the patient. Following things can be done at home which includes:
- Good sleep.
- Proper nutrition and diet.
- If there is mild headache, analgesic to relieve headache.
A person can follow preventive measures such as wearing helmet while playing contact sports, or while riding bicycle and motor cycle.
Fastening sit belts before driving, anti skid flooring in wet places such as bathrooms and toilets is useful for preventing concussions.