Each year in the United States, experts estimate that between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur in recreation- or sports-related activities. The reason for the wide gap in numbers is that many concussions go unreported and, worse, undiagnosed.
At Gill Neuroscience, our team, led by board-certified neurologist Dr. Paul Gill, understands that there’s no such thing as a minor brain injury. Whether the potential danger is immediate or down the road, you should never dismiss a concussion.
To give you an idea about when you should seek our medical expertise about a head injury, we review the signs of a concussion — from the perspective of the one who has the concussion, as well as from the perspective of an observer.
A concussion most often occurs in one of three scenarios:
In each of these cases, your brain gets rocked inside your skull, which can lead to damage — and the damage can range from mild to severe.
Even if a concussion is mild, it’s important to take steps to protect your brain because it’s very fragile during this time, and a subsequent concussion can lead to permanent and life-altering damage.
Or a moderate concussion can leave you with some permanent, but unnoticeable, damage that can worsen and become very noticeable with a second bump to your head.
Our point here is that we want you to recognize when you’ve had a concussion so you can take a little extra care in the future.
When you bump your head hard enough that a concussion is a concern, you want to look out for:
A knock to the head doesn’t always end with a loss of consciousness — indeed, most concussions don’t.
If you’re with someone who has hit their head fairly hard, you might notice:
If you notice any of these signs, seek help.
If you notice any of the symptoms we mention above, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a specialist. It’s especially important if there was any loss of consciousness, if symptoms are severe, or if symptoms don’t get better or even worsen.
The bottom line is that you should never take head injuries lightly, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution.