In this edition of the Broadview blog, we’ll be answering the question “What does a concussion feel like?”.
Whether you’ve hurt your head from a fall, sports injury or car accident, it’s important that you recognize the signs of a concussion in its early stages.
While you don’t always receive a concussion from head injuries, you should know what to expect and how to react when you might have a concussion.
When you have a concussion, you might feel like you’re fatigued and off balance. Or maybe bright lights and sounds are bothering you more than usual, or you just feel as though something “doesn’t feel right”.
The truth is, everyone experiences concussions differently. Despite how common they are, concussions are very complex. They have many components, many symptoms and can be treated with various different treatments, which is why advanced concussion treatment is so important.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which is the result of your head and brain rapidly shaking back and forth after a harsh impact.
Although they are not life-threatening, concussions affect your brain function and can cause great discomfort and pain for roughly 14 days – sometimes more, sometimes less.
Concussions recovery times are different for every individual, but what matters most is always the first 72 hours of a concussion (the acute phase). Be sure to check out our resource for more on concussion recovery.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The symptoms of a concussion will be different for everyone, largely varying on how severe the impact was, and more about the person themselves. Some common symptoms of concussions include:
- Dizziness or imbalance
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, noise or both
- Mental fatigue
- Ear ringing
- Slurred speech
If you’re feeling a little off after a head injury but don’t exactly match up with these symptoms, we still recommend consulting with a local neurologist. Symptoms don’t always show up immediately, they can take hours, days, and even weeks to develop.
When Should You See a Neurologist?
After having received a head injury, it’s important that you assess your situation and find out which symptoms you are experiencing.
In the event that your concussion is moderate or severe, you might be experiencing other symptoms, in which case you should seek medical attention immediately.
These moderate and severe symptoms can include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
- Arm or leg weakness
- Behavioural changes
If your concussion is the result of a sports injury, don’t return to play while signs and symptoms are still active.
It is normal for an athlete to be eager for their return to sport, but if a concussion is still present, further damages and a worsening concussion is more likely to occur.
Even if you believe that no concussion is present, it’s recommended that you book an appointment with a doctor or neurologist and that you don’t return to sport for a few days.
Advanced Concussion Treatment in Ottawa
Recovering from a concussion can take quite some time. And while no concussion is the same, neurologists can determine the right concussion treatment for your given symptoms and how they affect you.
At Broadview Spine & Health Centre, we assess and address your concussion and its main components to give you the best treatment possible.
Treatment can include anything from diet and lifestyle changes to balance exercises, laser therapy and non-surgical decompression therapy. Request an appointment today at our brain health centre in Ottawa.