More and more families are aware of the threat of concussion. Everyone risks serious injury when playing contact sports or driving, and even a fall can cause this form of head injury. Part of the challenge with concussion is diagnosis. Alarmingly, about half of concussions are not detected or reported.
About 1.7 to 3.0 million sports-related concussions happen annually. In order to take the best care of yourself or your loved one, it’s vital to know how to spot the signs. After you seek medical attention, follow some crucial self-care guidelines.
Knowing if You Have a Concussion
Concussion comes from a blow to the head or rapid shaking of the upper body. Headache, confusion and amnesia — specifically about the hit — are indicators you have a concussion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is also a long list of potential symptoms, such as dizzyness, vomiting, ringing in the ears, slurred speech and fatigue. None of these are conclusive, of course, which is why it’s important to see a doctor right away.
Self-Care for Concussion
If you suspect you have a concussion, it is important to give yourself time to heal. Specifically, you should avoid jumping back into your normal routine, as this may make your recovery more difficult. Here are some other ways to help overcome the condition:
- You will have great mental and physical fatigue after a concussion. Try to sleep well at night and take naps during the day.
- Avoid Triggers. Bright lights and noises often make concussion worse. Note your triggers and avoid them, by choosing quiet places to be and wearing sunglasses.
- Avoid Distraction. Your mental capacity may need time to heal. If you find it hard to concentrate, do one thing at a time. Avoid having too much stimulation at once, such as watching television while cooking.
- Write Down Important Info. You may forget some things as your concussion heals. Instead of relying on your memory, jot down important reminders and carry them with you.
- Avoid Challenging Mental Tasks. Your body and mind need rest. It is harder to process new information after a concussion, and too much strain makes it more difficult to heal. Take frequent breaks when doing mental work like studying.
In consultation with your doctor, you can find a way to gradually reintegrate into activities once your concussion has healed.