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Concussion: Symptoms, Causes, Risk factors and Complications

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury which affects the function of your brain. The effects of this condition are usually temporary but also it can include headaches and problems with coordination, balance, memory and concentration. This condition is usually caused by a blow to the head. The violently shaking of head and body can also be a reason for the concussion. In the most cases concussions do not cause you to lose consciousness but there are some cases in which you can lose consciousness. If you play a contact sport such as football, then you can often experience concussions. In the most cases people fully recover after a concussion.

Symptoms of Concussion

The signs and symptoms of this condition can be subtle and they may not show up immediately. These symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer. The most common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are confusion, loss of memory (amnesia) and headache. The amnesia usually involves forgetting the event which is the cause for the concussion. Here are the signs and symptoms of this condition:

  • Fatigue
  • Appearing dazed
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness or seeing stars
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head

You may have some symptoms of concussion immediately. Also there are other symptoms which can be delayed for hours or days after the injury such as

  • Disorders of taste and smell
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Concentration and memory complaints

Symptoms in children: It is a very common condition for young children to have a head trauma. But this condition can be difficult to be recognized in infants and toddlers because they cannot describe how they feel. Concussion clues may include:

  • Lack of interest in favorite toys
  • Change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Crying excessively
  • Loss of balance and unsteady walking
  • Irritability and crankiness
  • Listlessness and tiring easily
  • Appearing dazed

Causes: Our brains have the consistency of gelatin. They are cushioned from the everyday bumps and jolts by cerebrospinal fluid inside our skulls. A violent blow to our head and neck or upper body can cause our brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inner walls of our skulls. Sudden deceleration or acceleration of your head that are caused by events as being violently shaken or a car crash also can lead to brain injury. These injuries are affecting the function of your brain which is usually for a brief period and this is resulting in signs and symptoms of consciousness. This type of brain injury may lead to bleeding around or in your brain which is causing symptoms such as confusion and prolonged drowsiness. These symptoms may develop later or immediately. Such bleeding in our brains can be fatal. This is a reason why every single person who experiences a brain injury needs monitoring in the hours afterward and if the symptoms worsen, then they need emergency care.

Risk factors: (Here are the activities and factors which can increase your risk of a concussion)

  • Having had a previous concussion
  • Being a victim or physical abuse
  • Being a soldier involved in combat
  • Being involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident
  • Being involved in a motor vehicle collision
  • Participating in high – risk sports without proper safety equipment and supervision
  • Participating in a high – risk sport such as boxing, rugby, soccer, hockey, football and other contact sport
  • Falling, especially in young children and older adults

Complications: (Here are the potential complications of concussion)

  • Cumulative effects of multiple brain injuries
  • Post – consciousness syndrome
  • Post – traumatic vertigo
  • Post – traumatic headaches
  • Second impact syndrome

This condition changes the levels of brain chemicals. Usually it takes about a week for these levels to stabilize again but the recovery time varies from person to person.