Concussion Signs and Symptoms: When Should You Go to a Doctor?
Knowing how to identify and prepare yourself for injuries, including how to identify the need for medical help, is an essential life skill that too many people overlook. During this time of the year, football is in full swing, so at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, we want to educate people on the signs and symptoms of concussions.
Head injuries happen every day, and may be more common than you originally believed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of concussions diagnosed has doubled in the past ten years, and among adolescents aged 8 to 13 years old, that number has actually gone up more than 200 percent. Among that adolescent group, high school football accounts for almost half of all head injuries. Following close behind come soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse.
Whether you have kids playing sports or you are the one doing all the activity, knowing how to identify the signs of a head injury is important. A concussion is not something that should be ignored. While the tendency with many people is to shake off an injury or to see how something feels the next morning, doing so with a head injury can be dangerous. Sometimes, head injuries stem from injuries to the back or shoulders, and in this case, you may need support from a Jacksonville orthopedic doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Here are a few tips on how to recognize the potential hazardous signs of a concussion:
- Difficulty thinking and trouble with memory, including feeling slowed down, having difficulty concentrating and difficulty remembering new information.
- Physical pain, which may include headaches, fuzzy or blurry vision, nausea or vomiting — especially directly after the injury occurs.
- Sensitivity to noise or light, issues with equilibrium and balance, and loss of energy or extreme fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping, including trouble falling asleep or the inability to fall or stay asleep.
In addition to these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention without delay if any of the following issues develop:
- Headache becomes worse and does not go away.
- Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
- Slurred speech.
- Recurring nausea or vomiting.
If you witness someone experience a head injury and notice that they are having convulsions, are showing signs of extreme fatigue, have one pupil larger than the other or lose consciousness for any period of time, take them to emergency treatment immediately.
Not all concussions pose a severe health hazard, and for many people the symptoms will only last several days. The more concussions occur, the more troublesome they become. Remember when it comes to treating concussions that it is always better to practice the adage of “better safe than sorry.”