How to Identify the Symptoms of a Concussion… Before It’s Too Late
We see it on the news all the time: professional athletes on injured reserve due to the symptoms of a concussion.
But it’s not just sports that put your brain in danger. After a car accident, particularly a rear-end collision, the force of the impact can give you severe whiplash, forcefully rattling your brain around.
The brain is extremely sensitive. It’s also extremely delicate. Since it’s made of soft tissue, with only the skull to protect it, it’s not difficult for it to get jolted.
Even just shaking your head or upper body can lead to a concussion if it’s forceful or violent enough.
When your brain is rattled around, it can cause internal bruising, damage to the blood vessels, and even nerve damage. These damages can cause serious issues to your brain’s function and process. And when our brain isn’t functioning normally, the rest of our bodies don’t, either.
The best thing to do is be prepared and know how to look for the symptoms of a concussion. If you know what to look for ahead of time, you can prevent serious damage.
Causes and Types of Concussions
There are three main types of concussions: mild, moderate, and severe concussions.
Mild concussions (grade 1) are generally temporary and recover on their own. Sometimes you could suffer a concussion and not even realize it. Mild concussions do not include any loss of consciousness, and symptoms are usually gone within 15 minutes.
Moderate concussions (grade 2) still don’t include any loss of consciousness, but your symptoms will likely last a little longer than 15 minutes.
Severe concussions (grade 3) can lead to traumatic brain injury and chronic pain for the victim. This type of concussion is usually associated with a loss of consciousness, even just for a few seconds.
All concussions have the potential to lead to post-concussion syndrome. This occurs when your symptoms continue for long periods of time, from several months to several years.
While there are many causes of concussion, car accidents and contact sports are two of the most common factors. However, slip and falls and other accidents are just as likely to lead to brain injuries.
No matter what type of concussion you have, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not return to any of your regular activities, especially physical activities, until all of your symptoms are gone and you’ve been cleared by a medical professional.
Can You Test For a Concussion?
This is huge news: medical researchers in London, Ontario, are working on a concussion blood test. The test detects the percentage of concussion in the victim by pricking their finger and measuring a drop of blood. Right now, the test has about 90% accuracy.
Meanwhile, in England, researchers are working on a saliva test that could possibly detect a concussion in just 10 minutes. If implemented, this saliva test could be administered on the sidelines of the sport in the moment it happens.
These two concussion tests could seriously change the game and make a huge difference in the world of head injuries. However, they won’t be widely used for some time.
In the meantime, doctors can do some brain image scans and other tests. But they don’t always detect everything, so it’s extremely important that you know the right signs and symptoms to look for.
Whether you’re helping someone cope with a brain injury or you’re suffering yourself, be alert and aware of these important factors.
The Obvious Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
The symptoms of a concussion are similar to the symptoms of brain injury, as a concussion is essentially a less severe form of brain injury. However, a concussion can easily lead to more serious conditions, depending on how soon it is treated and how severe the concussion is.
Some concussion symptoms are much more obvious than others, so these ones should be the instant tip-off to you.
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Delayed responses to questions
- Inability to process new information
Other Red Flags You Shouldn’t Overlook
Just like brain injuries themselves, you can’t always see the symptoms of a concussion.
That’s why it’s important to monitor the victim, whether it’s you or a loved one, and check for these other signs. Many of these red flags don’t set in right away and could develop after the first few days or hours.
Here are more symptoms to look for:
- Personality changes
- Problems with sense of taste or smell
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Balance problems
Dangerous and Urgent Signs of Concussion
In some cases, when a person has a severe concussion, a brain clot could form around the skull and crowd the brain.
If you spot any of these symptoms, take the concussed to a hospital immediately. When it’s you that’s concussed, get someone to monitor you and take you to the emergency room at the first sign of these factors.
- One pupil more dilated than the other
- Inability to recognize people or places
- Unusual behaviour or increased irritability, confusion, or agitation
- Loss of consciousness
Concussions and the Law
If someone else’s negligence has caused you or your loved one to suffer a concussion, you can hold them liable under Canadian Tort Law.
Know that the burden of proof falls on you to provide evidence that your concussion was caused by the accident or injury. You’ll need as many documents and photographs as possible, including medical records and any receipts from treatments you’ve undergone.
Don’t forget about the Ontario Statute of Limitations. Under this law, you have two years from the date of the incident to file your personal injury claim. You can only be excepted from this rule if extreme circumstances have prevented you from filing within the time frame.
If you’re thinking about making a brain injury settlement claim, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Conte Jaswal Will Help You File a Concussion or Brain Injury Claim
At Conte Jaswal, we’ve seen firsthand how devastating a concussion or brain injury can be. It doesn’t just affect the victim- it affects the victim’s loved ones as well.
Brain injuries can completely derail your life, whether it’s a concussion, whiplash, or a severe traumatic brain injury. For the patient, it can feel like the world’s come crashing down around you as you watch helplessly.
When your concussion or brain injury happens because someone else was negligent, it’s not fair that you have to suffer. We’re here to make sure you don’t suffer any more than you already have.
Contact Conte Jaswal as soon as you can to book your free, no-obligation consultation. The sooner we get started, the sooner you can move on with your life.