When it comes to sports and physical activity, concussions are a common concern. They can occur when you hit your head on an unexpected impact, whether from a fall or a bump, during activities like soccer, tennis, and basketball.
You may want to know if you have a concussion because the aftermath can be less severe. You may have a concussion if you have any of these symptoms: dizziness, memory loss, disorientation, sensitivity to light and sound, or confusion that doesn’t go away while resting.
It can be challenging to tell if you’ve suffered a concussion without going to an emergency room and having them do a CT scan or ruling out other conditions. However, several ways can help tell whether or not you have a concussion. Here are 12 ways that you can know if you have a concussion.
What Is A Concussion?
Concussions are traumatic brain injury (TBI), damage to the brain caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a violent motion. According to the Mayo Clinic, the injury can range from mild to severe, with symptoms that often include headache, confusion or being dazed.
A concussion can be classified based on how long it takes for symptoms to appear and disappear. A mild concussion is known as an “acute concussion,” lasting between 7 days and a month. A moderate concussion lasts between 1 and 3 months, while a severe concussion lasts longer than 3 months.
Concussions are serious injuries that require treatment by a healthcare professional. The main treatment goals are to manage symptoms and prevent complications such as prolonged headaches or memory loss.
Concussions range from mild to severe, and symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss. Severe symptoms of concussion can last for weeks or months. Repeated concussions can lead to long-term problems such as depression and chronic headaches.
In addition to the physical damage that occurs with a concussion, there is also some evidence that it might cause changes in the brain’s chemistry that can affect thinking and behavior as well as moods and emotions.
Causes of Concussion
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a concussion is essential to recognize it when it happens.
1. Direct Blow to the Head or Body
This is by far the most common cause of concussion. The force of impact can cause brain injury, resulting in trauma. A direct blow to the head may occur during sports, motor vehicle accidents, and falls.
2. Indirect Blow to the Head or Body
An indirect blow occurs when there is no direct contact with an object that causes injury to the brain. Indirect impacts include being struck by a ball during sports and being hit by a splintered bat during baseball or softball gameplay.
Falls are another common cause of concussions due to their unpredictable nature. Falls can happen anywhere, including at home or school, when playing on playground equipment or stairs.
Kids often sustain concussions while playing sports outside because they’re less likely than adults to wear helmets while participating in these activities.
4. Rolling Your Head
This happens when you twist your neck too far in one direction, usually after falling asleep on your side and rolling over in bed so that one ear touches down first (called “positional vertigo”). It can also happen if you turn your head too quickly while driving or walking downstairs; this causes brain tissue damage.
5. Motor Vehicle Accidents
MVA is one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) for both children and adults alike; however, it’s important to note that most cases involve moderate injuries
Symptoms of Concussion
Concussion symptoms can range from mild to severe. You may experience some, none, or all of the following:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint.
- Balance problems or loss of balance.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Sensitivity to noise or light (sensitivity to light is a symptom of a more severe brain injury).
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating, or remembering things that just happened.
- Slurred speech (difficulty speaking clearly).
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Top12 Ways to Know If You Have Concussion
Concussions can be difficult to diagnose. If you’ve suffered a blow to the head, you may still feel fine and want to go back to normal activities. But sometimes, concussions can be hard to spot. Here are 12 ways that you can tell if you’ve had a trauma:
A headache is a common symptom of concussion, but it can also indicate that you are having a significant reaction to the injury. The most common type of headache is a mild one in the front of your head, and there are several other ways to tell if it’s not just a regular headache:
- You don’t have any other pain in your body.
- Your headache doesn’t worsen after you get up and walk around.
- The pain doesn’t come on gradually, but all at once as though something has hit you suddenly.
- You can generally talk without slurring your words or gagging on them.
If you have a headache, the best thing to do is check it out by your doctor. If they determine that you have a brain injury, they’ll refer you to an urgent care facility where they can monitor you for signs of worsening symptoms or complications.
A concussion is one of the most common injuries for athletes and can cause confusion, dizziness, and lightheadedness. This is the most common symptom following a blow to the head, but it can also happen if you bump your head during exercise or lean over to pick something up.
If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike or playing sports, you may experience confusion immediately after getting up from the collision.
3. Balance Issues
If you have balance issues such as dizziness or lightheadedness, this is another sign that you have suffered a concussion. Balance problems can also be caused by nausea, headaches, and sensitivity to light or noise. The symptoms usually resolve in a few days or weeks, but some people have balance problems for months after getting injured in sports or accidents.
If you have a concussion, it’s common for you to become disoriented — especially if this happens in a moving vehicle or during a night out on the town with friends or family members who make mistakes because they aren’t aware of their surroundings well as they should be.
If you’re having trouble keeping track of where you are or what time it is, go home immediately and call the doctor’s office before driving.
5. Vision problems
Vision problems are a concussion symptom and should be treated as such. They can include:
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Blurred vision (miosis)
- Visual field defects (scotomas)
- Seeing flashing lights or other visual disturbances
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Call your state’s health department or local clinic if you don’t have health insurance.
If you have a concussion, you may feel nauseous. This is because the trauma to your head can cause the vestibular system in your inner ear to become unbalanced, resulting in vertigo or dizziness. You may also feel sick to your stomach and vomit.
You may feel exhausted after suffering a concussion due to the impact on your brain and body and the stress of dealing with the injury. If you notice that you are exhausted or have trouble staying awake, this may be another sign of a concussion.
Vomiting is a common symptom of concussion, and it usually occurs within the first 24 to 48 hours after injury. This can be more severe than typical morning or motion sickness and may involve regurgitation of recently eaten food with associated nausea and abdominal pain.
9. Difficulty Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep
Concussive events can cause a disruption in sleep patterns for up to one week after injury, leading to fatigue, irritability, and cognitive impairment. A lack of sleep can also increase the risk for depression following a concussion, so getting enough rest after an injury is essential.
10. Memory Loss
Memory problems are often reported by people who have suffered from a concussion, but the extent of these problems varies from person to person.
Some people may only experience mild forgetfulness for a few days following an injury, while others may experience longer-term issues with memory retention that can last weeks or months after the initial event.
It’s essential to keep track of any changes in your memory so that you can report them to your doctor if they persist beyond expected limits (usually within two weeks).
People who have suffered from a concussion can experience drowsiness for several weeks after the injury. Sleepiness can cause problems with concentration, memory, and reasoning skills. It can also affect your driving ability if you get behind the wheel too early after the injury.
12. Sensitivity to Noise and Light
Concussions can cause sensitivity to noise, light, and other sensory stimuli in some people. If you are sensitive to these things after a trauma, it may be because your brain has been damaged during the injury.
You may also experience headaches or blurred vision as side effects of your injury if you are sensitive to noise or light after suffering from a concussion.
Visit University Urgent Care
It all comes down to this; if you suspect you have a concussion, find medical attention. You are the only one that knows for sure if you have a concussion or not; take the word of your peers and loved ones with a grain of salt.
If you are not experiencing emergency symptoms, University Urgent Care accepts walk-ins and appointments to treat the symptoms of mild or moderate concussions. Come see us today, and get back to feeling better!