If you are injured playing sports, you may wonder what are the signs of a concussion?

Athletes are often at risk of suffering from a concussion.  This is an injury to the brain caused by a blow to the head. It can affect your memory, concentration, and balance.  For these reasons, it is very important to know the signs of a concussion and how to get proper treatment.

What are the signs of a concussion?

Concussions are particularly common among football players and others who play contact sports.  While most people have a complete recovery from a concussion injury, you will recover far faster if you follow the advice of a professional.  The symptoms may not show up immediately, but can last several days or even months. So what are the signs of a concussion?Playing Soccer

  • Headache and pressure in your head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in your ears

Some of the more delayed signs of a concussion may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Personality changes such as irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Depression or other psychological problems

Baseline Testing

Since concussions are a common occurrence for those who play contact sports, baseline testing can help in the instance of a head injury.  Baseline testing is done before the start of the season to determine your balance and brain function. This can then be compared to results after an injury to more accurately assess whether or not you have a concussion. While this testing cannot prevent a concussion, it can prevent an athlete from returning to their sport too quickly and suffering greater damage.

Seeking Treatment

If you experience any of the signs of a concussion after a head injury, it is important that you not return to the activity. With severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness, vomiting, and severe head pain, you should go to the emergency room. Otherwise, visit your doctor or the Express Care Clinic within 1-2 days after the injury to be evaluated for a concussion. While there is no specific test to confirm a concussion, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and advise you accordingly.

Concussion Recovery

The most important part of recovering from a concussion is rest. This includes both physical and mental rest. Your doctor will likely advise you to avoid all heavy physical activity as well as anything that requires mental focus. You should avoid:

  • Texting
  • Reading
  • Video games
  • Watching television

If you follow the advice of your doctor, the symptoms of a concussion usually only last 7-10 days.  However, if you do not allow your brain time to rest and heal, the signs of a concussion may last quite a bit longer. If you suspect you may have a concussion, please visit our Express Care Clinic for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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