After a Concussion
What is a concussion?
After a blow to the head, you may have a concussion. This is a brief change in the way your brain works. The brain is a soft organ (with a texture similar to jello). When there is a blow to the head, the brain is shaken within its protective skull. This often results in a concussion.
You can have a concussion without losing consciousness. For instance, after a blow to the head many people remain conscious but feel stunned, dazed, or foggy.
What is post-concussive syndrome?
Post-concussive syndrome is a group of symptoms that may follow a concussion.
What are the post-concussive symptoms?
- Being stunned, dazed or foggy
- Headache (may be the only symptom)
- Loss of memory (amnesia)
- Blurred or double vision
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Loss of consciousness
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss
- Problems sleeping
- Personality changes
- Slowed speed of processing and/or decision making
How long will my symptoms last?
Your symptoms may last for a couple days or even weeks. Often recovery is slow. You should return to your normal self in time.
What should I do to shorten the recovery time?
- Make changes at your work or school to lessen the problems you may have with memory loss or trouble with concentration.
- Accept support from friends and family. They will remind you that this is a short-term state.
- Be checked out by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). The SLP can assess you for any changes to your thinking skills (i.e., memory, concentration, etc.). The SLP can provide therapy on how to lessen the effects of these changes within your life. Your primary care doctor can help you with the referral process.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. These are toxins to your brain. They make it harder for you to get better.
- Avoid activities that may result in another concussion. Data suggests that repeated concussions may result in permanent brain injury.
You should contact your doctor if you are having increasing symptoms over time or if your symptoms have not improved over the course of several months.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/18/2011
Copyright © 10/18/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7264
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