Concussion

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Concussion

A Concussion is a mild Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, that happens when the brain is shaken within the skull due to an impact. Although it is the most common and less serious type of brain injury, it is always prudent to monitor those who have head injuries, as they can have serious symptoms if left unchecked.  

What is a Concussion?

A Concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury that can occur after an impact to your head or after a whiplash-type injury that causes your head and brain to shake quickly back and forth. 

Concussions stretch and bruise nerves and blood vessels and cause chemical changes in your brain that result in a temporary loss of normal brain function. A single concussion usually doesn’t cause permanent damage to your brain. Multiple concussions over a lifetime may result in structural changes in your brain.

Concussion

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion 

Signs and symptoms of a Concussion can be Subtle, Obvious or Critical. It is always important to be checked regardless of the severity of the Concussion. If Critical symptoms of a concussion are observed, it is imperative that emergency services are called. Subtle signs may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion 
  • Memory and/or concentration problems
  • Drowsiness or feeling sluggish
  • Headache
  • Balance problems
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light and/or noise sensitivity
  • Slow reaction to stimuli
  • More emotional - can experience sadness, irritability, nervousness or anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping

Obvious signs of Concussion may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dazed or looking blank/vacant
  • Seizure or jerky movements after injury
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Memory impairment
  • Unsteady on feet/balance problems
  • Changed behaviour - irritability, agitation, anxiety

Critical Symptoms of Concussion include:

  • Neck pain
  • Increasing confusion, anxiousness, irritability
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Unusual behaviour change
  • Double vision
  • Weakness/tingling/burning sensation in arms or legs
  • Deteriorating conscious state

Causes of Concussion

Concussion is usually caused by a blow or hit to the head. These can be from falls, motor vehicle accidents or sports injuries. Sports that are more likely to cause concussion are contact sports, and include football, basketball, ice hockey, wrestling and boxing.  

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Concussion

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