Lone Star Neurology provides diagnosis and treatment options for concussions. Individuals who have a concussion or those who have a suspected concussion should seek care as soon as possible. This may help to minimize injury to the brain.
A concussion is a type of injury to the brain. Called a traumatic injury, it can impact the function of the brain. There are various degrees of severity associated with concussions, but all should be examined and treated with the care of a neurological team.
The most common cause of a concussion is a hit to the head. It can also occur as a result of upper body trauma, violent shaking of the head, or any other instance in which the brain is forcefully moved from side to side or front to back within the skull.
Many types of concussions cause temporary symptoms. This may include headaches and vision problems. Worsening conditions can include damage to the brain’s ability to concentrate, memory problems, coordination concerns, and balance problems. In severe events, a person can lose consciousness. However, this is not the most common situation. Many people who have them do not realize they do. They may feel ill or a bit confused, though.
Most individuals who have a concussion will get it from a type of significant hit to the body. This includes sports like football in which there is head-to-head contact. Contact sports of any type or any instances in which a head strikes another object hard can cause this to happen.
Because they are hard to recognize, all individuals who engage in sports should know what the most common symptoms are. They include:
If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to be screened for a concussion. Because the symptoms of a minor event can be similar to a larger one, all individuals should have a doctor’s appointment.
The first step in treatment is proper diagnosis. This generally involves a neurological examination. It includes looking at a patient’s vision, hearing, strength, and sensation, as well as reflexes. Coordination and balance can also provide some insight. Additionally, cognitive testing is necessary. The goal here is to evaluate memory, concentration, and your ability to recall information.
Image testing can also be done. In those patients who have more severe symptoms of concussions, such as seizures, constant headaches, and vomiting, may need a more thorough examination that looks at the physical makeup of the brain. If your symptoms have become worse over time, this is also necessary. The goal is to look for any brain bleeding or swelling.
Treatment options are based on the type and severity of the condition. In the vast number of mild cases, rest is the most important step. This may mean not engaging in any type of physical exertion until conditions improve. There is also the need to reduce stimulation to the brain. For this reason, things like watching TV, playing video games, reading, texting, and using a computer are not recommended. Any activity that utilizes mental concentration, including school or professional work, should be avoided.
More aggressive measures may need to be taken for those who have a brain bleed. This may include treatment that identifies the severity of the bleed. Most of the time, this type of bleeding may need surgical procedures to stem it.
It is also important for patients to be monitored going forward. Those who have had a concussion previously may develop additional complications and the likelihood for more serious concussions in the future.
It is very important to learn about the prevention of concussions. While some individuals may be able to return to their physical activities, others may need to be more aggressive about prevention. This may include wearing proper protective gear, minimizing risks of head strikes, and limiting aggressive physical actions.