Heads Up: Learn the Signs of a Concussion

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Do you know how to spot the signs of a concussion? Whether you’re heading out to watch your child play sports or getting ready for this year’s ski and snowboard season, it’s a great time to learn what to look for if someone around you suffers a head injury.

Concussions are often associated with football, but many other activities can lead to head trauma. These injuries can be dangerous because it affects your brain function. Fortunately, most people fully recover. We asked Elie Elovic, MD at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital about common signs and symptoms of concussions.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that comes from a direct or indirect impact to the head or body. During this impact, the brain is shaken or jarred which may cause some bruising of the brain. This can occur without a loss of consciousness Children are more susceptible to brain injury and its long-term affects because their brains are still developing.

 

What to Look For

Any blow to your head, neck or upper body can result in a concussion. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty with thinking, attention or memory
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Changes in hearing
  • Double vision
  • Changes in behavior
  • Balance issues
  • Nausea/vomiting

What to Do

If you suspect that you or someone else has suffered a concussion, see a medical provider. Initial treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury. Rest, avoiding vigorous activity and a reduced school or workload can help with recovery. Sometimes further imaging or follow-up will be required. Be sure to avoid returning to sports and fitness activities until receiving clearance from a provider.

Protect Your Head

Being aware of all safety tips, procedures and rules for the sport or activity you’re in is an important way to prevent concussions. Parents and coaches can help by providing education on this topic. Safety equipment, particularly properly fitted helmets, should be maintained and worn. Because concussions can still occur even with the use of a helmet, reviewing the above signs and symptoms will help all participants keep each other safe.

To learn more about Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, visit renown.org/rehab.

 

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