Brain Injury Awareness Month
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Doctors may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.
Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or remembering new information
- Headache, fuzzy or blurry vision, dizziness, or balance problems
- Irritability, sadness, nervous or anxiety
- Sleeping more than usual, less than usual, or have trouble sleeping
Tips to help you get better:
- Get plenty of sleep at night, and rest during the day.
- Avoid activities that are physically demanding (e.g., sports, heavy housecleaning, working-out) or require a lot of concentration (e.g., sustained computer use, video games).
- Ask your doctor when you can safely drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment.
- Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol and other drugs may slow your recovery and put you at risk of further injury.
There are many people who can help you and your family as you recover from a concussion. You do not have to do it alone. Keep talking with your doctor, family members, and loved ones about how you are feeling, both physically and emotionally. If you do not think you are getting better, tell your doctor.
For more information and resources, please visit CDC on the Web at: www.cdc.gov/Concussion.