Concussions came to the forefront with the movie “Concussion,” but football is not the only way people get concussions. Concussions are an injury to the brain. There are many different ways in which you can obtain a brain injury. Sports and accidents are two major ways. Some concussions are mild, and others are pretty severe. The symptoms of a concussion vary depending on how serious it is. There are many risk factors for a concussion and it is especially common among athletes. Understanding the causes and the effects of concussions can help you prevent concussions and get treatment if you have one.
The brain is the command center for the body. The brain is one of the largest organs in the body and is made up of soft tissue. Nerve cells are all over the brain. It helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body. Each part of the brain has a separate function that all works together for the proper operation of the body. Around the brain is a layer of tissue called the meninges. Around the meninges is the skull. The skull is a thick layer of bone that protects the brain. The skull is not attached to the brain like the skin of an apple is attached to the meat of an apple. There is space between the skull and the brain. This space allows the brain to move around.
A concussion is a blow to the head. It can also be a bump to the head. Since there is space between the skull and the brain, whenever there is trauma to the head, the brain moves around causing a concussion. In mild instances, the brain does not completely move around, it just jolts. In more severe cases, the brain sustains bruising. A lot of times, the blood vessels become damaged which also leads to injury of the nerves. Concussions have many symptoms which range from mild to severe.
The symptoms of concussions vary. Some people automatically lose consciousness. Most of the time this is due to a blow to the head. We see these type of concussions in sports like football and boxing. The blow to head instantly knocks someone out. Sometimes you feel faint and become confused or dazed. Your vision may become blurred, and you can see spots. There could be dizziness. Memory loss is a common symptom. Sometimes you forget the incident that led to the concussion. Other times you develop short-term or long-term memory loss. Some symptoms do not occur right away. It could be days or months before symptoms set in. These symptoms are called post-concussion symptoms. They are the same as concussion symptoms. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting are a few. You may also develop sensitivity to noise and light. Sometimes behavior and personality can change.
Concussions are either Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. The higher the grade, the worst the concussion. Grade 1 concussions are not extremely severe. You do not lose any consciousness. You will feel symptoms, but it will only last for about 15 minutes. The symptoms of a Grade 1 concussion is dizziness and blurred vision. After some rest, you normally feel better instantly. In Grade 2 concussions, you do not lose consciousness, but you have symptoms that last much longer than just 15 minutes. Sometimes with Grade 2 concussions you have symptoms that last for days or even months. There is a greater tendency for you to suffer a Grade 2 concussion if you have had a concussion before. Grade 3 concussions are the result of a person losing complete consciousness. The loss of consciousness is usually only for a few seconds, but once they wake up, they may feel all of the concussion symptoms.
If you suffer from a concussion, the worst thing you can do is go home and try to sleep it off. They tell you not to lay down for a while after just to monitor your symptoms. You should seek medical attention, especially in the case of Grade 3 concussions. Sometimes Grade 1 concussions are not always diagnosed because your symptoms go away quickly. When you go visit a doctor, they will go over your symptoms and talk with you about what caused the concussion. In more severe cases, CT scans and MRIs are taken to see if there is bleeding on the brain or swelling in the brain. The doctor will prescribe rest for you until your symptoms are completely gone. You should not go back to doing physical activity, working, or driving immediately after a concussion. It may take a few days before you can do that.
Whether a concussion is Grade 1 or Grade 3, it is still very serious. You never want to have any trauma to the head. When playing contact sports, you have to be very cautious. Football and boxing are two sports that put you at a high risk for concussions. Other sports like basketball and soccer may cause concussions, but it is not at a high rate. It is always good to wear protective equipment when necessary. Being cautious when driving will prevent accidents which could also lead to concussions. It is important to understand the danger that comes with concussions and to do your best to prevent them. As they say, a mind is a terrible thing to waste; and constant concussions will cause the mind to waste away.
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