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A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury caused by a violent shaking or blow to the head. During the healing process, a person with a concussion is very vulnerable to further brain injury.
If you or a loved one has symptoms of a concussion in the Bay Area, Dignity Health can provide expert diagnosis and treatment.
You should call 9-1-1 for a head injury with:
When in doubt, seek emergency medical care for any type of head injury.
Concussion signs may be obvious and appear right away. They can also be mild — you may not even realize you have one. Symptoms may take several hours or days to appear.
Generally, symptoms of concussion include:
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, see a Dignity Health doctor as soon as possible. You should always meet with a doctor after a head injury, even if symptoms don’t appear.
During a head injury, the brain moves suddenly and forcefully around inside the skull. This movement can damage brain cells and cause chemical changes in the brain.
The main causes of concussion include:
You can prevent concussions by wearing protective gear while playing sports, riding a bike, and taking part in other high-risk activities (such as extreme sports). Also, wear your seatbelt when riding in or driving a car.
Dignity Health doctors use physical and cognitive examinations, as well as diagnostic tests, to diagnose concussions. After your doctor has tested your reflexes, coordination, and memory, you may have a CT scan or MRI scan.
Doctors recommend rest to treat most concussions. This includes mental rest, or avoiding any activities that require thinking or concentration. Depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor may recommend time off from school or work. To treat headaches, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers. Ask your doctor about when it’s safe to return to your normal routine.