What to Watch for With Concussions

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A concussion is a type of brain injury. Think of it like an egg inside its shell. If you were to shake the egg, it would hit against the shell. The brain works the same way. If you shake or hit your head, you can hit your brain against your skull, and this can cause a brain injury called a concussion. Some concussions are mild, and other concussions are very serious.

Hockey is a very popular sport and past time in Canada. If you are a hockey fan, then you will likely know the story of Sidney Crosby - a famous Canadian hockey player. Sidney scored the winning goal for Canada in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. However, the next year, Sidney would succumb to a concussion which would side line him from playing in much of the regular season games. Sidney took precautionary measures to not aggravate his brain injury by sitting out. Undergoing intensive therapy and rest were the steps that he had to take to come back to the game of hockey. However, spectators wonder if he’ll ever play the game again like he once did, and if the risk of him playing again is actually worth it. One of the major problems with concussions is that once you have had one, your brain is actually a bit weaker and susceptible to other concussions. Brain injuries are serious, and concussions are no different.

Each and every person can get a concussion. Even though concussions are common in high contact sports such as hockey and football, even a simple fall can cause a concussion.

If you have fallen or involved in a collision and you have hit your head you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Losing consciousness

  • Feeling nauseous (or vomiting)

  • Headache

  • Loss of memory

  • Feeling tired

  • Sleeping for long periods of time

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Inability to focus

If you feel you have suffered a concussion, you should immediately seek medical attention. Physicians will then test and evaluate the severity of the trauma and assess whether or not further medical tests need to be done (such as an MRI). Depending on the severity of the concussion, treatment is generally rest and little to no activity (even reading would be considered an activity). The general rule of thumb when it comes to concussions is you can return to activity after you no longer have headaches anymore. However, some people may take hours to recover from a concussion, and others may take weeks or months. It is imperative to pay attention to how your body is reacting and give it the rest it needs to fully recover.