Beware of a concussion after receiving a powerful blow to the head.
Concussions are a common ailment among athletes, but these head injuries can occur in anyone who suffers a forceful hit to the head or is shaken violently. Fortunately, when treated properly, most patients with concussions will experience a full recovery with no lasting damage. If you or someone in your family has recently experienced a hard hit, here is what you should know:
- Concussions most commonly present themselves after a sports injury, car accident, or fall.
- It is important to see a doctor right away if you notice any dizziness, memory problems, odd changes in behavior, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, or a persistent headache.
- Symptoms can occur hours or even days after the initial injury. Stay alert for any symptoms until you are in the clear.
- Only a doctor can determine whether a patient with a concussion needs overnight medical observation. Never try to make this call yourself.
- Patients with mild or moderate concussions may be sent home to recover with lots of rest.
- Concussion patients need not only physical rest, but also mental rest. This usually mean no reading, working, or even watching television.
- The only approved over-the-counter pain reliever for concussions is acetaminophen (Tylenol). Never use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) or aspirin.
- After your first concussion, you are at a higher risk of having a second concussion if your head is injured again. Talk with your doctor about how to safely play sports after a concussion.
Want to learn more about head injuries and possible treatment methods? Check out Lawnwood Regional Medical Center's health library for information on concussions and other medical conditions. Our A-Z online resource center can answer many of your questions.