How To Tell If You Have A Concussion

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Any head injury can be serious and lead to severe problems. Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and find out when an ER visit is needed.

Because concussions occur fairly frequently, you may not realize just how serious this type of brain injury actually is. When left untreated or unrecognized, a concussion may lead to more severe complications, including re-injury. Use this helpful information from the board-certified experts at iCare ER & Urgent Care to learn more about how to identify the signs of a concussion and when a trip to your nearest ER in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX may be necessary.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that typically results from a forceful impact directly to the head, such as a punch, hit, or sports-related contact. However, even an injury elsewhere on the body can result in a concussion. For instance, whiplash may cause the neck and head to jerk forward with enough force to cause a concussion.

How do I know if I have a concussion?

In some cases, you may be able to self-diagnose your concussion. However, some symptoms of a concussion may be mild and/or mimic the symptoms of another condition. Because certain behaviors can make concussion patients more susceptible to re-injury, it is important to understand how to identify a concussion and what steps to take to avoid further complications. Common signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity

A common misconception about concussions is that they always “knock you out.” In reality, concussions do not always result in a loss of consciousness. Furthermore, symptoms of a concussion may be delayed or appear gradually.

What do I do if I have a concussion?

After suffering a concussion, your brain needs to heal and recover. If you are having symptoms associated with a concussion or have been told by a medical professional that you do have a concussion, it is imperative that you avoid any level of re-injury, which can lead to severe complications. To minimize your discomfort and reduce the risk of further problems, use these important tips for concussion recovery:

  • Rest your brain
  • Rest your body
  • Avoid brain stimulation, including reading, watching TV, or playing video games
  • Avoid harsh light and loud noises
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Avoid physical activity
  • Take Tylenol as needed (avoid ibuprofen and aspirin, which can increase your risk of bleeding)

When do I need to go to the ER for a concussion?

While many concussions can be self-diagnosed and self-treated, there are some cases when a trip to the ER may be necessary. If you notice worsening, severe, or prolonged symptoms of a concussion, or if you are in doubt about your condition, visit your nearest Fort Worth or Frisco iCare ER & Urgent Care immediately. During your visit, one of our expert board-certified ER physicians will carefully evaluate your symptoms, perform any necessary tests – such as imaging, blood work, and cognitive assessments – and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

Severe signs of a concussion that may indicate a more serious problem – such as bleeding in the brain – and should be evaluated almost immediately in the ER include:

  • Protracted nausea or vomiting
  • Worsening headache
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Excessive confusion or memory loss
  • Unusual behavior
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Pupils that do not respond to light stimulation
  • Seizure

Even if your concussion seems mild and self-treatable, it is still essential to monitor yourself for worsening symptoms. Patients who suspect a concussion are also strongly encouraged to have a trusted friend or loved one close by for at least the first 24 – 48 hours to help identify any warning signs. When in doubt, the safest course of action is to have your concussion evaluated in the ER.

Don’t take chances with a head injury. Visit your nearest North Dallas ER for your concussion ASAP.

There’s no doubt that any brain injury, including a concussion, can be one of the most frightening experiences. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, patients can minimize the risk of complications associated with a concussion and get the symptom relief they deserve. If you think you may be suffering from a concussion, protect your health and safety by visiting your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care facility in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.