June 21,2014(ISN) – 7 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CONCUSSIONS
1. Every concussion is different. Depending on the person and the extent of the injury, symptoms can appear hours or days later and last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
2. Only 10% of concussions lead to a loss of consciousness. Just because you don’t pass out doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a blow to the head seriously.
3. The symptoms aren’t always obvious. While some people who sustain a concussion will experience extreme headaches, others may simply feel “off” or get a minor headache. It’s important to monitor yourself closely and take note of any changes in how you feel.
4. Know the warning signs. Most people fully recover from a concussion. However, it’s important to be aware of the signs that may indicate a more serious injury. If your headache gets increasingly worse or you experience numbness, weakness, confusion or trouble speaking, have someone bring you to the hospital right away.
5. Seek medical attention. Even if you aren’t sure whether you have suffered a concussion, play it safe and always visit the emergency room after a head injury. A doctor can provide you with a treatment plan specific to your situation, and imaging tests, including a CT scan, can help further diagnose your injuries.
6. Keep everyone in the loop. Make sure your family and teammates know about your injury and are prepared to help you. Most health care professionals will advise that someone wake you up every few hours after you’ve sustained a concussion to make sure you are lucid and healthy.
7. Give yourself time to heal. Don’t return to the ice until you are no longer experiencing any symptoms and your doctor has given you the OK. Once you’ve suffered a concussion, it becomes easier to sustain a second or third injury. Always wear your helmet and be diligent about seeking medical attention and taking time off after any head injuries.