Sunday, July 3, 2022

Concussions and Their Impacts

By: Sarah Marble/Content Editor

Did you know that Traumatic Brain Injuries have reached epidemic levels in the United States?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Every year, 1.7 million people have an accident that leads to a traumatic brain injury. Most — about 75% — are mild, including concussions. More serious injuries send 275,000 people to the hospital and cause 52,000 deaths.”

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating wound to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Normal functioning of the brain includes processing sensory information, regulating blood pressure and breathing, and releasing hormones.

Symptoms:

Symptoms can range from being mild to severe. They may include:

  • Blurry Vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Ear Ringing
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Tiredness

Treatment/Recovery:

Treatment and recovery can vary due to each person and what their brain needs to heal.

According to the CDC, all Traumatic Brain Injury recovery should begin with rest. Rest includes limiting physical activity or activities that can result in another head injury. Cognitive rest is also very important and includes limiting thinking or remembering activities. Limiting screen time by not being on your phone or watching television helps rest your brain. Getting a good night’s sleep and taking naps during the day can also speed up recovery time.

As you begin to feel better you can return back to light activities. These include gradually returning to work or school, participating in relaxing activities, and continuing to limit activity that can result in another head injury. Getting maximum sleep and reducing daytime naps is beneficial in allowing your brain to rest.

In severe cases, physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help with the physical and mental side effects of a severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

Post Concussion Syndrome:

Post Concussion Syndrome is a complex disorder that can result after having a concussion. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some experts believe post-concussion symptoms are caused by structural damage to the brain or disruption of the messaging system within the nerves, caused by the impact that caused the concussion.”

Symptoms can last days, weeks, or sometimes months after having a traumatic head injury. Symptoms are similar to those experienced while having a concussion such as headache, dizziness, and sleep problems. There is no time frame as to when the symptoms will go away.

There is no way to prevent getting Post Concussion Syndrome other than avoiding a head injury.

Prevention:

Preventing a brain injury is simple, but can be challenging because a person can not foresee what can happen in the future. Taking precautions such as wearing a helmet when needed, and wearing your seat belt are two of the simplest ways to prevent a head injury. Another way to prevent a head injury is to be cautious and aware of your surroundings.


Websites used in the article:

https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/index.html

https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/brain#symptoms

https://www.webmd.com/brain/ss/slideshow-concussions-brain-injuries

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-concussion-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20353352

http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/prevention/

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Sarah Marble
Sarah Marble is a senior and a second year journalism student. She enjoys spending her time giving back to others. She values being involved in her community and school as an active leader. After graduating high school, she will be attending Penn State College of Nursing to earn a Bachelor´s Degree in nursing to become a Registered Nurse.

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