Concussions 101

Concussions 101: Your Ultimate Guide

Nov 01, 2019

Did you know concussions come from a Latin word concutere meaning to shake violently? A concussion is a common, but least serious traumatic brain injury, that affects people of all ages. This injury will affect brain function, causing headaches, balance, memory, and concentration problems.

Although brain injuries can affect anyone, they are common in people who engage in sports such as boxing and football.

How can you know you have a concussion? Is it serious, and what should you do when you get a concussion? We provide you with all these important answers.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild head injury that occurs after a sudden movement and violent shaking of the head.

Our brain is a combination of soft tissues, cushioned by the spinal fluid, and covered by the protective skull. When the head is moved violently, the brain moves around in the head, and it loses its function. This causes a loss of equilibrium and unconsciousness, which lasts for a short time.

Depending on the impact of the injury, you may have bleeding in and around your brain, thus prolonging drowsiness or confusion, which can develop immediately after impact or later.

At times, the bleeding can be fatal; that’s why you need monitoring hours after the injury.

Concussions in children
Anyone can be affected by a concussion, but they are common in children because the head is large and disproportional to the body. If your child experiences a concussion, you should monitor them for the first 24 hours after the injury. Don’t give medication without a doctor’s approval as they may cause bleeding.

A concussion can be grade one (mild), grade two (moderate), and grade three (severe). Mild concussion symptoms last for less than 15 minutes, and they occur without unconsciousness. On a moderate level, you can experience symptoms for more than 15 minutes, while in grade 3, the symptoms will last for long, and you may lose consciousness.

How do You Know You Have a Concussion?

Concussion diagnosis is tricky as the signs may not appear immediately, but some symptoms can take weeks after the head injury to show.

However, there are common mental, emotions, and physical symptoms such as;

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Sluggishness
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Ringing in the ears

During your recovery, you might experience irritability, mild headache, or noise sensitivity.

Symptoms in children
Since children don’t have walking difficulty or slurred speech, you should keep watch of other symptoms like vomiting, irritability, and drowsiness. Children recover from concussions quickly, and rarely do they have brain damage. It is, however, important to visit a children’s emergency care for assessment.

When to See a Doctor?

If you suspect that your loved one has back or neck injury, call an ambulance and don’t move them to avoid causing further damage.

What to Do After Concussion?

After you get a brain injury and the symptoms don’t clear up after a few minutes, visit Express ER in Abilene, TX. Your doctor.

Our doctor will ask you a series of questions to ascertain how the injury occurred. They may perform a neurological exam to check your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, and reflexes.

An imaging test like a CT scan and MRI will be done if you have symptoms such as seizures, severe headaches, and vomiting. These imaging tests check for bleeding and swelling in the skull. MRI also helps the doctor to identify if there is a change in the brain function.

Are There Any Complications?

Potential complications can include;

  • Post-concussion syndrome which is characterized by persistent concussion symptoms that last for months. This syndrome may be worse in individuals who have experienced previous head trauma and concussions. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, headaches, sleep problems, depressive mood, anxiety, and irritability.
  • Post-traumatic headaches occurring for more than a week to a few months after the injury

Are Concussions Preventable?

Not precisely. Concussions are hard to prevent as they are unplanned and sudden, but you can take steps to lessen their possibility.

  • Wear protective gear when participating in high-impact and high-risk activities like hockey, football, boxing, and soccer.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and avoid drinking when driving to reduce the impact if an accident occurs
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen your muscles and improve balance


Concussion symptoms can clear up after a few minutes, but sometimes it can take months. If you experience any of the above-mentioned complications, visit our doctor at Express ER, we have a 24-hour emergency room with qualified doctors ready to serve you.

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