A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a source of external trauma, such as a bump or blow to the head or skull. Concussions can cause debilitating symptoms that last for weeks, months or even longer. It is essential to learn how to recognize the signs of a concussion to know if one may have occurred, as well as when to see a doctor.
Every brain injury is unique; two concussion victims may experience drastically different symptoms. However, a headache is a common complaint. Headaches caused by head injuries often resemble tension headaches, which can feel like dull, aching pain or tightness and pressure. A victim may experience a headache that starts at the base or bottom of the skull and radiates outward. A concussion headache could persist for weeks or months after the date of the injury, at which point it is known as a chronic headache.
Nausea and Vomiting
Many patients who are diagnosed with concussions report short-term nausea that may escalate into vomiting. Even after recovering from the initial head injury, some patients continue to experience occasional or persistent feelings of nausea. Repeated nausea or vomiting, as well as changes in eating habits, could all be caused by a concussion.
Concussions can cause changes in a patient’s ability to balance and move due to damage to the inner ear. Many victims experience feelings of dizziness or vertigo, where they feel as if they are spinning or off-balance. This could result in trouble moving, walking and working. It can also result in fall accidents with additional injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries have the power to disrupt a victim’s nervous system, which could lead to changes in how the victim processes sensory information. A victim may see stars, flashes or sparkling lights at the time of injury, for example, as well as suffer from blurred vision from the concussion. Sensitivity to light and sound and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) are also common.
Feeling drowsy and wanting to sleep immediately after the injury, as well as longer-lasting drowsiness, fatigue and trouble sleeping could all be signs of a concussion. As the body recovers from a concussion, it may cause the victim to feel excessively tired. The injury itself could also cause insomnia and changes in sleeping patterns.
Cognitive Changes and Challenges
Brain injuries put a victim at risk not only of physical symptoms but of cognitive changes, as well. This can cause both mental and emotional symptoms. Possibilities include chronic anxiety, depression, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, trouble communicating, problem-solving issues, difficulty concentrating or completing tasks, and changes in mood or personality.
Loss of Consciousness or Seizures
A moderate to severe concussion could result in a prolonged loss of consciousness at the time of injury. This may last minutes, hours or even days. Some victims lapse into comas or extended periods of unconsciousness. Seizures are also a possibility in patients who are diagnosed with severe concussions and other serious traumatic brain injuries.
What to Do if You Think You Have a Concussion
If you experience anything that resembles a symptom of a concussion, go to a doctor immediately. Delaying medical care could hurt your physical recovery by waiting too long to begin treatment. Waiting to see a doctor could also affect your injury claim, as insurance companies want claimants to mitigate their losses through prompt medical attention.
If you are diagnosed with a concussion or another type of brain injury after an accident in Arizona, you could be eligible for financial compensation to cover your medical bills, treatment costs, therapies, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Discuss your financial recovery options with a personal injury lawyer in Surprise for more information.