How to identify a concussion and when it is necessary to seek medical attention
A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by a blow to the head. It can be categorized as a minor injury requiring minimal treatment, or a major injury that requires immediate medical attention. A concussion can affect how the brain works for a long period of time and can be accompanied by a wide variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms of this injury include a bad headache, changes in alertness, memory loss, confusion, irritability, fatigue, or a short term loss of consciousness. Minor concussions may not lead to loss of consciousness. In fact, a person can have a minor concussion and not realize it.
A concussion can affect how the brain works for a long period of time.
If any of the following symptoms are observed, seek immediate medical attention as a more serious brain injury has occurred and it should be treated as an emergency:
- Changes in alertness and consciousness
- Confusion that does not go away
- Muscle weakness on one or both sides
- Pupils of the eyes that are not equal in size
- Unusual eye movements
- Repeated vomiting
- Walking or balance problems
- Unconsciousness for a longer period of time or that continues (coma)
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