Have you ever seen two kids playing, and all of a sudden, one of them fell backwards, hit his head on the railings and starting frothing from his mouth? That may be one of the signs of concussion. If you are boxer, football etc. You have an increased risk of having concussion.
So what is concussion? It is a traumatic injury to the brain which makes the brain fluids and soft structures to fall into the skull, this may cause irritation to the skull with severe consequences. Symptoms of a concussion may not be evident after a fall that is if the damage to the brain is negligible but in severe cases the signs of a concussion you might notice is loss of consciousness.
Repeated concussion may cause long-lasting or permanent damages to the brain which may affect speaking or movement. Other signs of concussion are slurred speech and depression.
Symptoms of concussion
The symptoms of concussion may range from mild to severe depending on the severity of fall or impact to the brain. While at times you may not have any physical signs like scratches from the fall, you don’t have to see such before concussion sets in, sometimes concussion symptoms may not show up in 1, 2 hours, weeks and months after the injury.
The following are concussion symptoms:
Headache is the most common symptom of concussion.
2. Feeling of pressure in the head
Pressure from fluid buildup may make your head to swell if the brain coverings are badly affected. This may make you feel a sense of fullness in the head and neck region.
3. Slow response to external stimuli
Concussion causes varieties of physical expression one of which is slow response to external stimulus and impaired cognitive functions. It may go unnoticed if the symptoms are very subtle.
4. Double or blurred vision
Depending on the part of the brain affected during fall or strong impact to the head, most times, back of the head when affected may affect the optical nerves or vestibular nerve thus causing blurred vision, double vision or impaired response to light flashes.
Cognitive symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, inability to recognize people or places and difficulty maintaining concentration is a hallmark of concussion. This might be accompanied by slurred or incoherent speech, speech pattern may also be interrupted frequently.
6. Changes in sleeping pattern
You might experience changes in sleep, such as difficulty waking up, changes in diurnal rhythm. Children may experience lethargy, restlessness and irritability after changes in sleep pattern.
7. Nausea or vomiting
Vomiting, frothing in the mouth, and lack of motor coordination may result almost immediately after a concussive episode.
Post-traumatic amnesia characterized by inability to recall previous events. This may happen immediately or few minutes after the impact to the brain.
Concussive convulsion is very common in children due to the fragility of their skull. This is due to temporary loss of motor function. It is not only peculiar to concussion as other neurological disorders such as epilepsy may present the same.
10. Lack of muscular coordination
This is due to temporary loss of motor function, which may be accompanied by difficulty in walking and body movements.
When you notice the following concussion symptoms in a person, it is very important to declare such an emergency:
- Unequally dilated pupils and restricted or abnormal eye movement, sometimes the eye pupils may not respond to light flashes
- Persistent vomiting
- Difficulty walking
Loss of consciousness and muscle coordination.