What is it?
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by one's brain hitting against your skull. The brain is bruised and causes the brain to act in different ways. Most will have a full recovery but the brain will need time to heal with the proper rest and monitoring.
Body systems affected by concussions and how they are affected
A concussion mostly affects the central nervous system. There are about 7 different systems affected. they are:
The Nervous system
The Digestive system
The Skeletal system
The Lymphatic system
The Circulatory system
The Muscular system
The Respiratory system
When a brain is not concussed, it controls every part of your body; when concussed it still controls everything, but is slow at reacting. The different systems are also affected by slow reactions. A concussion mostly affects the nervous system because when injured the brain may not react to pain or other instincts.
Who it affects
There isn’t a specific gender or age for a person who suffers from a concussion. People who are involved in sports or are in an accident can suffer from concussions. Not all concussions come from contact sports. Just the jolt of your brain hitting your skull can cause the concussion.
How does this happen
A concussion is caused by a sudden, violent jolt to the brain. The force can cause stretching and tearing to the brain and soft tissue that supports it. Forces that can cause this type of damage include:
A blow to the head
Severe jarring or shaking - like a bad fall
Abruptly coming to a stop - most common in car accidents
You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. People who see the accident may also be asked to describe what happened and how you reacted. A physical exam will be done. It will often include brief tests for strength, sensation, balance, reflexes, and memory. That is called “Concussion Protocol.” The doctor will often be able to diagnose a concussion based on the exam and history. If you are playing Football, for example, an Athletic Trainer will do a short quick exam to see if you can get to the locker room or off the field. Then they will test you with more equipment. You still have to go to the doctor's office to get a more extensive examination
Signs and Symptoms
Some symptoms of Concussions are:
Loss of consciousness
Loss of memory - forgetfulness
Light and Sound sensitivity
Tired all the time - sluggish
The brain can often heal on its own with rest and avoiding activities that may be harmful while it heals. Symptoms will gradually fade during recovery. The brain will need full rest at first. This means adjusting physical activities and decreasing mentally-demanding tasks. Early in recovery, activities that need concentration like work or schoolwork will need to be avoided. This also includes avoiding video games, watching television, computer activities, or texting. Mental and physical activities will gradually be added once initial symptoms improve. Symptoms, balance, cognition and tolerance to current activity levels will be tested throughout recovery. This information will be used to decide if further rest is needed or it is time to progress to the next step. Returning to mental or physical activities too quickly can make symptoms worse and slow the recovery process.
In most cases, children, babies, and adults who get a single concussion recover completely and do not experience long-term effects. Post-concussion syndrome occurs in about 10 percent of people who sustain level 1 or level 2 concussions. People who have sustained a concussion are at increased risk for additional head injury. Subsequent concussions may cause long-term neurological disorders, including brain damage that results in memory loss, psychiatric disorders, or reduced cognitive function (for example: inability to make decisions or plan ahead). Second impact syndrome is a serious complication that can be deadly. This condition, which can cause severe swelling and bleeding in the brain, occurs when a person suffers a second head injury before concussion symptoms have completely resolved.
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