Concussions Are A Common Injury In An Auto Accident
When an auto accident happens, all types of injuries can occur. Bones can break, skin can lacerate, and bruises can crop up anywhere on the body. While these are examples of injuries that are visible, there are other injuries that can be just as severe, but hardly show any signs at all.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a blow, jolt, or bump to the head. The jarring motion of the incident causes the brain to hit the hard inner shell of the skull, leading to tearing, bruising, and bleeding. Though many people think that sports injuries as the main cause of a concussion, car accidents actually cause them more often. Heads can hit the windshield, steering wheel, or another object, due to the force of the collision.
How To Know If You Suffered A Concussion
Some people don’t even know that they’ve suffered a concussion. Some symptoms might not appear until hours later. Remain diligent after an accident, and look for the following signs that you may have a concussive brain injury:
• Nausea or vomiting. This is a classic sign of a concussion and might occur at the accident site, or hours after you return home.
• Confusion or amnesia. Some people have trouble with memory and focus, and can be confused about the events that occurred during the accident.
• Seeing stars or hearing bells. A blow to the head can cause blurry vision, stars, spots, or other optical disturbances. Ringing in the ears or a loud whooshing sound can also indicate mild brain injury.
• Change in behavior. Depression, anger, irritability, anxiety, and nervousness are all mood changes that can be caused by concussion.
• Headaches and dizziness. Obvious signs of brain trauma include headaches, especially those that worsen progressively, and dizziness at any level. In extreme cases, seizures could occur.
What To Do If You Suffer A Concussion
Concussions from car accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries. These can lead to lifelong disabilities and even death. If you believe that you have suffered a concussion, seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will be able to run the appropriate diagnostic tests to assess the situation. You’ll receive instructions on what to do to heal from the incident, based on the severity of the injury. Most concussions can clear up within seven to 10 days, but some have a longer recovery time. After you return home from the doctor’s, follow these steps to assist with healing.
• Sleep. Doctors now state it is safe for a to go to sleep following a concussion if the patient is conscious and able to hold a conversation, and if no other symptoms, such as dilated pupils or trouble walking, are present before sleeping. The brain recovers during sleep. Minimize distractions to ensure peaceful slumber. A concussion can also make you feel exhausted after performing even the most simple of activities, so short naps might be beneficial.
• Rest the brain. Refrain from anything that can overstimulate the brain, such as reading, playing video games, or activities that require intense concentration. Adjust work and school schedules to allow frequent breaks.
• Avoid triggers. Anything that triggers your symptoms or makes them worse should be avoided while you are healing. Avoid bright lights, loud noises, and crowds that can be overstimulating to the brain.
• Rest the body. Unless your doctor approves, avoid activities that can increase heart rate. If a strenuous activity makes you dizzy or feel ill, slow down. Stay home from work and school for a few days to recoup.
• Manage your care. Manage your pain with medications as advised by the doctor and use ice packs for swelling. Don’t rush into physical activities or sports too soon, and be careful when operating a vehicle or other machinery. Refrain from using alcohol and illegal drugs as these can make some symptoms even worse.
Speak to your doctor if symptoms don’t seem to be getting any better, or if they get worse. Take your recovery seriously, and never deny yourself from getting the medical care you deserve.