Many concussions occur without a blackout, contrary to popular belief. Brain concussions need to be appropriately handled and taken seriously because it is a brain injury, and recognizing and acting upon the symptoms immediately can avoid further complications, including death.
Although sports concussions (for example, in football and boxing) are the most common type of brain concussion, this type of traumatic brain injury can happen in any situation that leads to a jarring of the head.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.” Although many people believe that a concussion can occur only with direct contact to the head, any blow to the body that causes the head to jolt back and forth can cause a concussion as well.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
The first sign of a brain concussion is the actual forceful movement of the head. While this can be noted in certain cases, such as sports concussions, there are times when this predictable behavior is not seen.
In either case, there are other symptoms that accompany traumatic brain injury, including a pressure feeling in the head, headache, dizziness or balance issues, nausea or vomiting, compromised vision, sensitivity to light or noise, confusion or concentration problems.
Other symptoms to look for are unexplained confusion, such as forgetting the score of a sports game that the individual is currently playing, forgetting events immediately before or after the head trauma, slow responses or movements, or any amount of loss of consciousness.
According to the CDC, some of these symptoms may appear immediately, or they may not appear for days after the injury. The symptoms can last for an ongoing period as well. Be aware of any unusual behavior that follows a head trauma.
Treatment for Brain Concussions
If a person is suspected to have received a sports concussion, it is vital to remove him from the game immediately. Treatment should be sought from a physician as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Be sure to keep a record of any symptoms that the patient is experiencing, as it will guide the physician.
Do not allow the athlete to return to play until he has received a clean bill of health since repeated concussions in a short period can cause severe brain damage.
Preventing Concussion Brain Damage
Although it may not seem reasonable to completely avoid concussions, the best course of action that a coach or parent can take is to treat all blows to the head as a possible concussion. Removing the child from further possible trauma and seeking treatment immediately is the best way to prevent lasting traumatic brain injury.