According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that occurs upon “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth” against the skull.
What is a concussion?
What causes concussions?
A concussion can occur from any general impact to the head. Events that often result in concussions are falls, car accidents, or impact to the head in contact sports.
When should I see a medical provider?
Individuals should see a medical provider if they experience the following symptoms: repeated vomiting, confusion or disorientation, slurred speech, a loss of consciousness lasting more than 30 seconds, difficulty with physical coordination, seizures, sensitivity to light or noise, or sleeping problems.
How are concussions treated?
Concussion symptoms vary from person to person, and no two approaches to healing and caring for concussions are exactly the same. Generally, rest and reduced physical and mental workloads are recommended. Avoiding bright lights and reducing screen time (you can obtain a blue light filter for your phone and other electronic devices) are also likely to help alleviate symptoms. There is no known, prescribed cure-all for concussions; however, some find meditation and yoga helpful. You should speak with your medical provider about your symptoms and any referrals you might want to seek, and be sure to check in regularly if they persist.
How long does it take to heal from a concussion?
Symptoms of concussions can last anywhere from days, to weeks, to even longer. Several factors are important for recovery: adequate sleep, hydration, healthful nutrition, avoiding overexertion, abstaining from alcohol, and slowly reintegrating exercise. But, recovery times are variable and the process is not entirely linear: often individuals will experience a day in which they feel fully recovered followed by one where their symptomatology is more similar to right after their injury. It is not recommended to attempt to push through symptoms, as those that do often have longer recovery times. Also, older adults, young children, and those who have suffered concussions before have longer recovery times on average.
Will I need to make adjustments to my day to day life?
While it depends on the severity of the concussion, generally adjustments must be made to encourage the healing process. Most often these include avoiding bright lights and over-stimulating environments. Time away from screens such as phones, television, and computers can also be helpful. Other life adjustments that help the healing process include avoiding activities that will cause your head or neck to be jostled around. Some examples of this include going on roller coasters, mountain-biking etc. Lastly, it is important to rest. Some light exercise can be maintained, if approved by a doctor. However, like any other injury or sickness, recovery is aided by resting both physically and mentally.
Can I make an appointment at Health Services?
Yes. You can call 401-863-3953 or go to the Health Services website to make an appointment with a medical provider to be evaluated for a head injury. Depending on the severity of symptoms, you may then be referred to a specialist.