What is a concussion?

A concussion results from a blow to the head, which can occur because of a car accident, a slip and fall injury, and many other situations. While concussions are often mild, serious complications may occur that can sometimes have lifelong effects. The Mayo Clinic explains more about concussions and what to look out for if you’ve recently experienced a head injury.

Your brain is cushioned by fluid within your skull, which protects it from everyday occurrences. When your head is struck with great force, your brain can ricochet back and forth against the sides of the skull, which causes physical damage to cells, as well as swelling and bleeding in severe cases. Falls are a leading cause of head injuries, especially among the very young and old. Additionally, your chance of experiencing a concussion becomes greater if you’ve suffered from the condition in the past.

In most cases, it’s recommended to follow-up with medical care after a concussion, even if the injury seems relatively minor. Look for symptoms like confusion, dizziness, fatigue, headache, slurring, ringing in the ears, vomiting, or a temporary loss of consciousness. These symptoms usually present immediately after an injury takes place, but others may take longer to materialize. This includes problems concentrating, increased irritability, and insomnia.

Serious concussions are also linked to further complications. A feeling of dizziness may persist for weeks or months after the initial injury, as can chronic headaches. This is often referred to as post-concussion syndrome, which can also entail problems thinking and reasoning. If you experience multiple head injuries over a period of time, it’s even possible to develop a lasting impairment that can greatly impede your ability.