Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment Options Questions and Answers
At Immediate Care of Oklahoma, we take concussions seriously and are committed to providing our patients with high-quality and compassionate treatment options. For more information, call us now. We have 7 convenient locations to serve you in Oklahoma City, OK.
While concussions are rarely life-threatening, they are still considered a serious injury.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in a temporary decline in regular brain function. Your brain is protected from blows and jolts to the head by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is a clear fluid that surrounds both the brain and spinal cord. However, with a violent enough blow or jolt to the head or upper body, the brain can slide back and forth against the inner skull, causing chemical changes in the brain, as well as stretched or damaged brain cells.
What causes a concussion?
Concussions are typically caused by trauma or a blow to the head, but they can also occur due to violent shaking or jolt to the head or upper body. With that in mind, the most common cause of concussions are falls and sports injuries, especially with contact sports such as football, rugby, or ice hockey.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
While concussions are generally temporary, they can have long-lasting effects on brain function. As such, if you are noticing possible symptoms of a concussion, you should seek medical attention as soon as you have an opportunity. It is important to note that some concussion symptoms occur immediately, while others can occur several days after the concussion. With that in mind, the following are some common symptoms of a concussion:
- Blurry vision
- Confusion or foggy feeling
- Dazed appearance
- Delayed responses
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disruptions with sense of smell and taste
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Heightened sensitivity to light and noise
- Inability to recall the traumatic event
- Nausea and vomiting
- Personality changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Slurred speech
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
It is also important to note that a person doesn’t need to experience all of the above symptoms to have a concussion. Some symptoms, such as temporary loss of consciousness or personality changes, only occasionally occur with a concussion.
How is a concussion diagnosed?
For mild to moderate concussions, a neurological examination with cognitive testing is generally enough to diagnose a concussion. During a neurological exam, your doctor will evaluate your balance, coordination, hearing, reflexes, sensation, strength, and vision. The cognitive testing part of the neurological examination will involve evaluations of your concentration, memory, and ability to recall information.
For severe concussions that involve such symptoms as repeated vomiting, seizures, severe headaches, or worsening symptoms, your doctor may recommend imaging tests to determine the severity of the injury and check for any bleeding or swelling inside the skull. Some possible imaging tests could include a cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan or medical resonance imaging (MRI). Severe concussions may also require an overnight hospitalization for observation purposes.
Who is most at risk for a concussion?
While anyone can experience a concussion, some individuals are more at risk than others of experiencing a concussion. With that said, the following is a list of people who are more at risk of experiencing a concussion:
- Athletes of contact sports
- Individuals who have had previous concussions
- People younger than 24 and older than 75, and especially children between 0 and 14
If you have experienced or are concerned that you may have experienced a concussion, our doctors at Immediate Care of Oklahoma would be pleased to provide diagnostic services and treatment. For an appointment, we welcome you to schedule one through our website, call us, or visit one of our seven clinics in Edmond, Norman, Yukon, and Oklahoma City, OK, for a walk-in appointment.
We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, and Bethany OK.