The word concussion is used to describe any injury to the brain that is the result of an impact to the head. A mild concussion might result in the patient being slightly dazed or experiencing a very brief loss of consciousness. A severe concussion involves a longer loss of consciousness, as well as a longer recovery time.

Causes of Concussion

Concussion is caused by an impact to the head. Common causes include:

  • Car accident
  • Fall
  • Sports-related injury
  • Violence

Symptoms of Concussion

Common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Loss of consciousness after an impact to the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss

Diagnosing Concussion

Once it’s determined there are no severe or life-threatening injuries, the doctor will determine the severity of the concussion by:

  • Asking questions about the injury, such as how the injury happened and how long the patient was unconscious
  • Giving a physical exam that tests neurological function
  • Ordering a CT scan, which takes cross-sectional pictures of the brain and allows the doctor to determine the extent of the injury

Treatment of Concussion

Bed rest, fluids, and pain relievers such as acetaminophen are commonly prescribed for concussion. Follow-up care is important to assess for complications of concussion such as memory issues, cognitive issues, and personality issues.