If you were recently involved in an accident or suffered a blow to the head and are now experiencing concussion symptoms, it’s important that you see a doctor right away. Although they are recognized as relatively mild traumatic brain injuries, concussions can have serious, long-lasting effects. A qualified medical professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the proper treatment.
After a head injury—no matter how mild it may seem—don’t ignore a persistent headache, nausea, dizziness, or other signs of a concussion. Make an appointment with your doctor right away to protect your health, safety, and future well-being.
What Are the Signs of a Concussion?
Because they are mild to moderate closed-head injuries, concussions are not always easily recognizable. Knowing the signs of a moderate to severe concussion is important because it can alert you to when you should see a doctor.
See a doctor right away if you experience any of the following concussion symptoms:
- Headache, particularly one that persists or worsens over time
- Loss of consciousness, ranging from brief to prolonged
- Dizziness, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Disorientation, feeling “dazed,” and confusion
- Memory loss, especially an inability to remember the accident/injury
- Fatigue, excessive sleepiness, and/or difficulty waking up
- Changes in sleep patterns, including insomnia or sleeping more than usual
- Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Issues with smell and/or taste
- Changes in mood or behavior (mood swings, depression, etc.)
In some cases, symptoms may appear immediately after the injury. In other cases, they can take hours or even days to develop. Symptoms may decrease or go away on their own, or they may persist or even worsen over time. In any case, even when symptoms seem mild or go away, you should always see a medical professional to rule out any underlying injuries or trauma.
Do Concussions Have Any Lasting Effects?
Like any other brain injury, concussions can have both short- and long-term effects. The severity of the injury and various other factors play a key role in the seriousness and duration of a concussion’s effects.
Some of the short-term effects of a concussion include:
- Issues with balance and coordination
- “Brain fog”
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
Some of the long-term effects of a concussion include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Behavioral changes and mood swings
- Memory problems
- Mental health disorders, such as depression
- Long-term changes in sleep patterns
- Smell or taste disorders
- Prolonged light/noise sensitivity
A small percentage of people—about 20%—experience a condition known as persistent post-concussion syndrome. Persistent post-concussion syndrome, or simply post-concussion syndrome, is characterized by concussion symptoms that last for weeks, months, or years. The risk of post-concussion syndrome is not associated with the severity of the injury; even a mild concussion can result in long-lasting symptoms and other negative effects.
How Are Concussions Treated?
After conducting a series of tests—often including neurological, cognitive, and imaging tests—your doctor will recommend proper treatment based on the severity of your injury and its symptoms. Concussion treatment ranges from simply resting and taking over-the-counter pain medications to reduced school or work hours and rehabilitation therapy.
Concussion treatment is typically personalized to each individual’s unique needs. It is important that you see a doctor to not only receive an accurate diagnosis but also to obtain a treatment plan that is tailored to your injury and symptoms.
When to Call an Attorney
Treating your concussion may include taking time off work to rest and heal. It may also include various medications and rehabilitation therapies for vision problems and issues with memory or cognitive function. Your doctor may order a series of tests, including CT scans or MRIs, to rule out or diagnose your injury and any co-occurring injuries. All of this can quickly add up, and you may find yourself struggling to keep up with your medical bills and lost wages.
If you suffered a concussion in an accident or incident that resulted from someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. At The Womac Law Firm, we represent clients throughout New Orleans who have sustained serious head injuries due to car crashes, slip and falls, pedestrian accidents, and other traumatic events. If you believe someone else may have been at fault for your injury, first seek medical attention, then reach out to our firm to learn how we can help.