Brian White | August 7, 2022 | Brain Injury
A concussion happens when your brain suffers a mild injury. The injury causes the brain to swell, leading to physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
These symptoms will usually not kill you. But they can temporarily impair your ability to work or even meet your daily needs like showering and dressing.
Below, you will learn about concussion symptoms and how long they take to manifest.
What Does Your Brain Do?
The brain controls the nervous system. Signals travel from the brain to the muscles and organs to control them. These signals do everything from controlling your heartbeat to moving your legs.
Your brain also receives signals. Your sensory organs like your skin, tongue, nose, ears, and eyes send signals to your brain so it knows your body’s state.
The brain controls everything you associate with thinking. It stores memories, learns new facts and skills, and uses sensory inputs to make decisions.
A brain injury can affect some or all of these brain functions.
How Does a Concussion Happen?
A concussion happens when your brain gets squeezed by your cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF surrounds your brain inside your skull. When you experience violent movement, the CSF cushions your brain from hitting your skull.
But in doing so, it presses on your brain. This pressure damages brain cells. Your body triggers an inflammatory response to deal with the damaged cells.
Your brain swells and increases in temperature. These responses are meant to kill any invading bacteria. But they also affect the functioning of your brain cells.
You can suffer a concussion even if you do not suffer head trauma. Violent movements can shake your head hard enough to cause a concussion, even if you do not hit your head.
Thus, your head may whip forward when you hit your seat belt after a car accident. Even if you do not hit your head, your brain can suffer a concussion.
What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
As a result of brain inflammation, you might suffer physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
Some physical symptoms of a concussion include:
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness and imbalance
- Slurred speech
A concussion can also cause cognitive symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
Finally, concussions can lead to emotional symptoms like:
- Emotional outbursts
These symptoms typically last two months. If the symptoms last longer than two months, you may have post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may increase the likelihood of PCS.
Rating Concussion Symptoms
Immediately after a concussion, doctors will diagnose you. One process of rating concussions uses the Glasgow Coma Scale. In this process, the doctor will ask you questions and rate your concussion based on your responses.
The Glasgow Coma Scale uses three responses to rate your concussion:
- Eye-opening response
- Motor response
- Verbal response
Your responses will determine whether you have a mild, moderate, or severe concussion.
What Are Some Delayed Concussion Symptoms?
Although doctors can rate your concussion based on your initial symptoms, your symptoms will change over time. New symptoms may appear, and existing symptoms may change in the hours and days after the injury.
You might think clearly after a concussion but develop a brain fog as time passes. Your headache might worsen, and your drowsiness might turn into insomnia.
These changes happen because your brain changes after your injury. Cells that worked after the accident may shut down as the brain swells. Also, emotional symptoms, like depression and anxiety, might only develop after your brain has had time to process the trauma of your accident.
Dealing with Concussion Symptoms After an Accident
Doctors usually recommend rest after a concussion. Since your symptoms may evolve, you will probably need to take time off from work and have assistance to drive.
As time goes on, your symptoms should eventually fade. If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek medical attention. Worsening symptoms might suggest a brain injury more severe than a concussion.
Contact the Houston Brain Injury Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
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Houston, TX 77098
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