How Serious is a Concussion?

A recent injury televised nationally to millions of fans has put the spotlight on concussions as a form of traumatic brain injury, or TBI.  When Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was injured on the field, many people began to ask:  how serious is a concussion?  Is it something to worry about?  Can it cause long-term disability or injury?  The answers to these questions may surprise you, particularly if you have been involved in a slip-and-fall or car accident that involved a mild head injury.

Facts About Concussions

A concussion is a name given to a particular type of traumatic brain injury in which a blow to the head results in bouncing or twisting of the brain inside the skull.  The resulting “mild” brain injury is one of the most common types of head trauma.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about seven percent of children under 12 have experienced a concussion, as well as about 12 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds.  Adults report concussion rates of about 29 percent, or more than one in four.

Most concussions result in a feeling of dizziness or sluggishness, blurry vision, light and noise sensitivity, or a brief period of unconsciousness.  However, though the symptoms may be relatively mild, the long-term outlook for those with concussions is troubling.  As many as a third of all youth who suffer concussions later report mental health issues.  It is unclear whether a concussion is a contributing factor, although many studies are currently being conducted to attempt to answer this question.

How Do I Know If My Concussion Is Serious?

There are some signs that a concussion should be taken seriously, including:

  • Changes to speech patterns. Slurring of speech or other changes in speech patterns may signal a deeper underlying issue after a concussion injury.  Any change in speech should be immediately reported to a doctor.
  • Progressively worsening headache. A headache is normal after a head injury, but one that refuses to go away and gets gradually worse may be a sign of more severe issues.
  • Vomiting and dizziness. It is relatively normal for an episode of vomiting or dizziness to occur immediately after a blow to the head, but conditions that worsen or do not abate should be considered serious.

If you suffer a head injury, the best practice is to see a doctor, even if you feel fine.  While many people do not experience immediate symptoms, a doctor can check for damage to the skull or brain that could signal long-term problems.

At Barber & Associates, we have been helping Alaska injury victims for many years.  We work with our clients to ensure that they are treated fairly and are given the best possible medical care after a head injury, including long-term care when needed.  Give us a call today to discuss your head injury accident and learn more about how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.  We are here to help you take control and find justice for your TBI.

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