A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that affects your brain function. There are three situations that you may get a concussion: a direct blow to the head, a collision in impact sports and a violent shake of the head or the upper body. Concussion will not bring life-threatening symptoms, but they can be very serious sometimes. For instance, you may have a severe headache, lose your balance, or fall unconscious after concussion.
Statistics has shown that there are more than 3 million cases per year in the US. Among all these cases, 300 thousand are sports-related, as it is reported by the University of Pittsburgh’s Brain Trauma Research Center.
Concussion causes can be divided
into two categories: sports-related concussions and non-sports concussions.
A knockout or repetitive blow in boxing can make the boxer have a concussion.
Football has by far the largest incidence of concussions in youth sports
- Other sports
Other sports involving body
contacts like volleyball, cheerleading, softball, baseball, basketball, and
lacrosse, are all responsible for increasing concussions to players since the
late 20th century.
Non-Sports Concussion Causes
- Battlefield factors
The concussion causes in combat
are well documented and tend to be most often related to explosions. And other causes
of military or combat-related concussions are usually vehicle collisions,
At present, there is no clear genetic marker to identify higher injury risk or adverse outcomes. However, in both sports and military data, women seem to be less likely to have concussions than men.
The symptoms of a concussion can be subtle. Some symptoms can
show up immediately, others may be delayed and last for
days, weeks or even longer.
Immediate symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness and memory
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Appearing dazed
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Losing balance
Other symptoms may be delayed for hours or days after injury, such as:
- Concentration and memory complaints
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Mild headaches
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychological adjustment problems and depression
- Disorders of taste and smell
Concussion clues in children may include:
- Appearing dazed
- Listlessness and tiring easily
- Irritability and crankiness
- Loss of balance and unsteady walking
- Crying excessively
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest in favorite toys
You will be sent to the emergency room, if you accidentally fall
down, have an accident, or an incident on an athletic playing field. Your doctor
will usually begin the diagnosis with:
- A detailed inquiry about how the
injury happened and its symptoms.
- A physical examination to determine
what symptoms are.
Then, to determine the range and severity of post-concussion
symptoms, your doctor may perform or recommend the following tests:
- Neurological examination
- Cognitive testing
- Imaging tests including CT and MRI test
don’t require surgery or any major medical treatment. General advice for
treating a concussion includes the following:
- Avoiding strenous activites. For example, riding bicycles and lifting heavy things.
- Refraing from visual and sensory stimuli from TV and computer.
- Drinking alcohol only when it is permitted by your doctor.
- Eating well-balanced meals.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers if you have a prolonged headache.
- Having enough rest and sleep.
Keywords: concussion, tramatic brain injury.