Concussions are often referred to as “mild” traumatic brain injuries, but don’t let the word mild fool you – a concussion is no laughing matter. Concussions affect brain function and, while usually temporary, the problems that they cause can make it difficult for a person to engage in everyday activities like work, hobbies and spending time with family and friends.
The typical cause of concussions is a blow to the head, but concussions can also result from violent shaking of the head or upper body. Generally speaking, when you suffer a concussion, you will not lose consciousness. As a matter of fact, it is very possible to have a concussion without even realizing it.
How Do I Identify a Concussion?
Concussions can be sneaky. You may not notice the signs and symptoms of a concussion immediately, but the symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer.
The most common symptoms of concussion are headache, loss of memory and confusion. When it comes to loss of memory, you may even forget the event that caused the concussion, adding to further confusion. Other signs and symptoms include:
- A feeling of pressure in the head
- Loss of consciousness
- Feeling as if in a fog
- Dizziness or seeing stars
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to stimuli
Over time, you may develop problems with concentration, personality changes, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to stimuli or even disorders of taste and smell.
If you ever suffer a blow to the head or otherwise traumatic event, such as a car accident, a slip-and-fall or even a serious blow during a contact sport, you should have a doctor examine you for traumatic brain injury. While many concussions are minor, they can cause a serious disruption in your daily life.