A concussion can be mild, moderate or severe and typically caused by an abrupt traumatic impact to the head. This is an injury to the brain due to impact against the skull. This can often lead to loss of consciousness, but not in all cases. The symptoms tend to vary depending on the severity of the injury.
Depending on the severity of the concussion sustained by the individual, it is important that you are familiar with the symptoms that will manifest. To learn to recognize and manage head injuries including concussions, register for first aid and CPR course with a credible provider near you.
- Slight mental confusion with possible memory loss
- Mild tinnitus or ringing in the ears along with a mild headache or dizziness
- Pain in the area of impact or contact
- Normal balance is retained and no loss of consciousness
- Mental confusion that is accompanied by post-traumatic loss of memory
- Moderate tinnitus or ringing in the ears that can be heard along with moderate headache and dizziness
- The balance might be impaired
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness can occur but will not last longer than 5 minutes
- Mental confusion that lasts for 5 minutes or more
- Severe ringing in the ears or tinnitus
- Prolonged memory loss of events leading to the accident
- Loss of consciousness that lasts more than 5 minutes that is accompanied by an increase in the blood pressure and reduced heart rate
If an individual is suspected with a concussion, he/she must be closely monitored and must not be left alone. It is important to seek immediate medical attention in order to determine the extent of the head injury.
The individual must avoid engaging in any collision or contact sports for at least 3 weeks after sustaining a concussion.
Always bear in mind that returning to sports is a gradual process and must be done under the supervision of a qualified professional. If the individual does not have any symptoms, he/she can engage in light exercise, walking or stationary cycling.
The next phase is to engage in sports specific activity as long as there is no contact such as running. If there are any symptoms, the individual should stop. Always stop any activity once any symptoms develop. If the doctor finds the individual ready, he/she can resume with field practice involving contact once again. Just remember though that the time taken to reach this stage usually depends on the severity of the concussion.
What is post-concussion syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome is a complication in which the symptoms occur after the main symptoms of the original injury are already gone. If the individual experiences unusual symptoms such as anxiety, loss of smell or taste or depression, it is best to consult a doctor.