The Unforeseen Dangers of Concussions
Concussions are an everyday injury. It seems as though we all know someone who has suffered from one. Because of how common they are, we often view them as a mild injury that’s easy to heal from. However, the reality is, concussions are a serious matter that can have life-altering effects and complications, especially if they are not given the proper attention they need.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that you can get by a forceful blow, jolt, shaking, or impact to the head. Classified as a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussions can range from mild to moderate to severe. The grading system depends on several factors, such as signs of amnesia, a loss of balance, as well as a loss of consciousness.
In mild concussions, symptoms of head trauma only last 15 minutes, and there is no loss of consciousness. When symptoms last longer than 15 minutes, but there is still no loss of consciousness, then the injury is considered moderate. The classification of severe is only used if there is a loss of consciousness. It may only last a few seconds, but even a short amount of time passed out can be incredibly dangerous.
Causes of Concussion
There are a number of different causes for concussions, but the most common are a result of negligence associated with motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, physical abuse, and sports injuries. Any activity that can cause a violent jolt of your brain or impact to your head can result in a concussion injury. An individual with a prior concussion is also more susceptible to future concussions.
The Symptoms of a Concussion
One of the more dangerous aspects of concussions is the fact that symptoms may not appear immediately. They can develop over time, sometimes even years down the road. Concussions, like all brain injuries, need medical attention immediately. If you suspect you have suffered a head and brain injury, even if you aren’t showing the signs of a concussion, seek medical help as soon as is possible
However, many people suffering from a concussion do begin to show symptoms within a few minutes or hours of the initial accident. Common symptoms that you should be on the watch for include:
- Confusion or a dazed feeling
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in Ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed reaction times or response
- Sleep issues
- Personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Memory loss
The Danger Signs of a Concussion
In the immediate aftermath of an injury to the head and brain, it is important to pay close attention to how you feel and any changes in behavior that seem out of your control. It is always advisable to seek medical treatment any time you have suffered an injury or blow to the head. It is possible after a visit to a physician or emergency care department that your condition can still develop further and worsen over time.
When doctors examine you for a concussion there will be a few signs that they will be on the look out for. They may monitor you to see if you are suffering from:
- Different sized pupils – with one pupil appearing visibly larger than the other
- Inability to wake from sleep and extended periods of drowsiness
- Worsening headaches with no relief
- Loss of coordination, the ability to communicate, impairments in speech, or feelings of weakness and numbness throughout the body.
- Repeated bouts of vomiting and nausea
Long Term Risks of Concussions
The brain is a sensitive organ, and vital to our health and survival. When you suffer a concussion, your brain becomes injured, and that opens the door to further injury. These later issues are often more serious, and can have an extreme impact on your overall health, as well as the quality of your life. The more likely injuries you can develop after a concussion are:
Second impact syndrome – can occur when there is a second concussion before a prior concussion has healed that can have fatal consequences from the rapid swelling of the brain
Post-concussion syndrome – the continuation of concussion symptoms beyond three months
Vertigo – the sense of spinning and dizziness for up to months after an injury
Development of dementia and Parkinson’s disease – individuals who suffer multiple concussions and brain injuries in their lifetime may be at an increased risk for the development of these conditions
Concussions are serious, even if most people assume otherwise. If you are suffering brain damage due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve retribution and compensation. Contact a Denver brain injury attorney at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (303) 759-9945 and find out how we can help you.