A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. It makes the brain more vulnerable to additional injury until healed.
The doctors at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals are experts in treating concussion in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. Find a Doctor online or call (702) 616-4900.
Symptoms of Concussion
Concussion symptoms can be subtle. Some symptoms start right away, while others appear within hours or days of a head injury.
Common concussion symptoms include:
- Confusion or brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Depression, irritability, or personality changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sleep problems
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Ringing in the ears
See a doctor after any head injury, even if you don’t experience symptoms right away.
When to Seek Emergency Care for Concussion
Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention if the following occur:
- Difficulty talking or walking
- Blurred vision
- Severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
Causes of Concussion
When a blow to the body or head occurs, it causes the brain to move suddenly and forcefully around in the skull. This damages brain cells and creates chemical changes in the brain.
Jarring forces that can cause concussion include:
- Blows to the head
- Whiplash injuries
- Violent hits to the body
Your doctor will perform a physical exam with a focus on your nervous system. This involves checking your pupil size, coordination, and reflexes. Your doctor will also test your ability to recall information.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may order a CT scan, the most common test for concussions at the time of injury, or a MRI, which is useful for assessing complications such as seizures.
Treating Concussion at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Rest is the typical treatment for a concussion. This includes both mental and physical rest until your symptoms clear. You will need to avoid activities that require concentration and thinking, including playing video games, watching TV, reading, or using a smartphone or computer. Your doctor may also recommend shortened school days or work days or even time off.
Since headaches are common with concussion, you may need over-the-counter pain relievers. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is safest because it doesn’t increase the risk of bleeding. Ask your doctor before taking naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or aspirin.
Do not return to sports or other strenuous activities until your doctor clears it.
You can help prevent concussions by:
- Learning and practicing proper techniques for contact sports
- Buckling your seat belt
- Wearing helmets and other protective gear during recreational activities and sports — look for headgear and helmets approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for your specific sport or activity
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican treats common sports injuries, such as concussion, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.