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The Reality of Dealing With Concussions

Concussions may be more serious than you think.

Because concussions can cause permanent damage, they should not be taken lightly. While you can’t always avoid head injuries, concussions are serious and need to be cared for properly to prevent brain damage. Certain situations put you at risk for concussions, so taking proper precautions (like wearing protective headgear while playing sports) is a must.

What are Concussions?

Concussions are injuries to the brain caused by a blow to the head. While there might be a temporary loss of normal brain function after a concussion, many times people with concussions don’t lose consciousness. Concussions range from mild to severe in nature, but all concussions should be taken seriously because brain damage is a concern. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that more than 300,000 sports-related concussions happen each year in the U.S.


Concussions can cause numerous side effects. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below after hitting your head, it’s time to see a healthcare provider.

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired balance
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Ringing in ears
  • Disorders of taste or smell
  • Light sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Trouble walking
  • Decreased coordination
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Damage That Can Occur

MedlinePlus notes that many people who suffer from concussions fully recover with proper rest. However, without allowing yourself a chance to heal after head injuries — or suffering from repeat concussions — puts you at risk for permanent brain damage. Dizziness, headaches, and difficulty focusing may last for several months after a concussion. Mayo Clinic reports that people who have suffered from concussions double their risk of developing epilepsy (a seizure disorder), and those who have had multiple concussions can experience permanent cognitive impairments.


Rest is the best treatment after you’ve suffered a concussion, to allow your brain a chance to heal properly. Avoid mentally and physically exerting yourself (especially playing contact sports) while recovering from a concussion. Getting another head injury before you’ve completely recovered is dangerous. Ask your doctor about which medication you can take for headache relief, and how long you should rest before resuming normal daily activities.

Bottom Line

While concussions are extremely serious and can cause lasting effects, many people do fully recover from head injuries. However, it’s important to get plenty of rest after a blow to the head to reduce your risk of permanent brain damage.

[Image via Getty]

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