I would bet my life savings that you’ve injured a part of your body before and have had it bruised and swollen at least once. Maybe it was a fall, or your clumsy self bumped into something. You wake up the next morning with a bump on the injured area, blueish-purple skin, and tenderness on touch. This seems like a fairly normal scenario. But did you know your brain also has the ability to get bruised and injured as well? This is the most common and least serious type of traumatic brain injury also known as a concussion.
How does this occur you may ask? Your brain is engulfed in a bath of fluid that acts like a shock absorber for the delicate tissue. However, if one suffers a blow to the head, the high impact can cause the brain to hit the hard-inner walls of the skull causing injury. This can cause swelling and bleeding in the brain and can be life-threatening if not properly monitored and looked after. That is why anyone who has experienced any type of brain injury needs monitoring in the hours afterward and emergency care if symptoms worsen.
Concussions are most commonly seen in motor vehicle collisions, fights, or contact sports such as football. This is due to the high acceleration and deceleration of the head which causes the brain to move around the skull. When this happens, different symptoms may be present depending on the extent of the injury. Symptoms most commonly associated with a concussion include:
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Concentration and memory complaints
- Personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
An important thing to understand is that some symptoms may occur immediately, whereas others may be delayed for hours or days after the injury. If you are an athlete who has had a concussion, NEVER return to play while you are experiencing any signs or symptoms and haven’t been medically cleared! You should avoid any activity that will produce or increase your symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with a concussion, do not give up hope! There are treatments out there to help improve your symptoms. Feel free to come to Be Well Medical Clinic where our team of health care practitioners will take a look at you and provide a treatment plan to get you back to your normal daily routine.