Any time you suffer a blow to the head, it’s critical to stop what you’re doing, pay attention to your health and decide if you need to seek medical treatment.
A concussion is a serious brain injury that can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms and side effects, including but not limited to loss of consciousness, dizziness, vomiting and extreme headaches.
Rather than wait it out at home and hope that your health improves, visit a local emergency room for professional treatment. Here’s what you can expect in regard to making a diagnosis:
- Neurological examination: Your doctor will ask you a variety of questions, while following up with an evaluation focused on your hearing, vision, balance, strength, coordination and reflexes.
- Cognitive testing: During your neurological exam, your doctor may evaluate your cognitive state by testing your concentration, memory and ability to recall information provided to you.
- Imaging tests: While not always necessary, it’s the best way for a medical professional to diagnose a concussion and rule out more serious injuries, such as a skull fracture or bleeding on the brain. The three most common types of imaging tests include X-ray, CT scan, and MRI.
Depending on what your doctor finds, they may suggest that you remain in the hospital overnight for observation. This gives them the opportunity to observe your symptoms, paying close attention to whether or not they worsen in the hours following their initial exam.
Even if your doctor agrees for you to go home, it’s important that someone stays with you, as to keep a close watch on your health.
After a concussion diagnosis, your medical team will provide a detailed treatment plan to help you make a full recovery. This typically includes pain medication, plenty of rest and the avoidance of physical and mentally strenuous activity.
As you begin the recovery phase, revisit the cause of the accident that led to your concussion. This could include anything from a motor vehicle accident to a slip and fall at a local grocery store.
Depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself in position to take legal action against the negligent party. Doing so can help you obtain compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and other damages.