A concussion is a blow to the head or sudden acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull. This movement results in a disruption of brain nerve function. A concussion isn’t always something that is seen on a CAT scan but can definitely be accompanied by a change in your ability to think clearly. Oftentimes, a person with a concussion will describe themselves as feeling dazed or confused.

Symptoms

Those who are wondering if they have a concussion should pay attention to the following symptoms:

• A loss of consciousness: If consciousness has been lost, even if only for a brief moment, medical care should be sought after for evaluation.
• Moving clumsily
• Speaking slowly, or other behavior changes
• Headache
• Nausea
• Sensitivity to light or noise
• Dizziness
• Confusion
• Changes in attention, concentration, and/or memory

Risk factors

Older adults on blood thinners who fall and have a blow to the head should seek medical attention right away. This is to make sure that they don’t have any bleeding in the brain.

Treatment

The most important step in treating a concussion is being evaluated by a medical professional who can give advice and help monitor your symptoms. A provider may help mitigate some of your concussion symptoms and help navigate you back to doing everyday activities. Going back to school, work, and other activities may not be recommended immediately following a concussion, so a medical professional will help you determine when certain activities can be returned to. Being evaluated after a concussion will help put your mind to rest and put you on the best path to managing your symptoms, seeking out appropriate providers, and recovering fully.