Concussion: Know the facts!
I wanted to write about this subject because it’s been in the news so much lately. Also, it’s personally affected my home.
It’s not like none of us had ever heard the word before, it’s merely we weren’t paying too much attention until Sid the Kid. Until it became important. Until it became recognized as a serious mental health issue.
I’m just as guilty as the rest of us. My belief was a concussion was like a bad headache. You’d shake it off after a couple of days and all would be well. Here’s the problem though. Like all mental health issues, they can’t be seen on the outside. We have a tendancy to ignore what can’t be physically seen. I don’t think this is on purpose, it’s merely a habit.
The key, I believe, is awareness. Just like any other problem that faces us.
Initial symtoms can be dizziness, amnesia, headache and confusion. Most likely the person with the concussion can’t remember what happened. A person can also feel nauseous and tired.
Most symptoms will disappear in under 24hrs. However, if they continue, then you have a more serious brain injury.
Continuing symptoms can include problems sleeping, light sensitivity, memory problems and mood changes.
Initial diagnosis of concussion is usually done by checking pupil size and a discussion with the patient to find out how they are feeling and looking for signs of confusion and memory loss. When symptoms do not clear up or begin to worsen there are many further steps to be taken. This is to determine extent of brain injury.
Further diagnosis can include CT, MRI and EEG. It will also include seeing a neurologist and further specialists. If necessary, it can include hours of written and oral questions and tests. This is needed in severe cases to deliver the proper treatment required.
Treating concussions can take a month or two or can last many months and sometimes years. It not only depends on the severity but the age of the patient as well as overall health.
Remember, concussion affects an entire family unit. Talk to the doctors and know your facts and how you can help. Explain to friends and family members so they have a better understanding.