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Concussions

A concussion is a mild to traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head. The sudden jolt causes the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull. This leads to stretching and damaging of brain cells and causes chemical changes in the brain. Motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries are common causes of concussions.

Symptoms:

The most common symptom of a concussion is a headache. If it worsens over time, it may indicate bleeding in the skull. Symptoms usually appear immediately or within a few hours of the incident, and can change a few days later.

Additional symptoms may include:

* Nausea
* Balance problems/dizziness
* Blurry or double vision
* Sensitivity to noise and light
* Tiredness or drowsiness
* Trouble comprehending or concentrating
* Depression
* Irritability, nervousness, or sadness
* Seizures
* Not recognizing people or places

Treatment:

The main treatment for a concussion is rest. Your doctor may tell you to take time off from work or school. Over time, most symptoms will go away as your brain heals.Symptoms typically last about 6 to 10 days, depending on how severe the concussion is. Most people get better within a week.

Additional Suggestions:

* Avoid visual and sensory stimuli, including video games and loud music
* Ease into normal activities slowly, not all at once
* Ask your doctor’s opinion about when to return to work or school
* Make sure to let employers or teachers know that you have a concussion
* Avoid strenuous physical or mental tasks

Important: See your doctor for severe symptoms or symptoms lasting more than one week.

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