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Concussions — from diagnosis to treatment

While we often hear the phrase, "minor concussion" the reality is that any bump on the head can result in significant and long-term harm. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that requires immediate medical attention. 

After suffering a blow to the head or sudden deceleration caused by whiplash in a car accident, you may not recognize common symptoms for many days. If you feel something is out of sorts, see a doctor to determine whether you may be suffering from a concussion.

Your medical team will conduct a comprehensive neurological examination to check your:

  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Sensation and strength
  • Reflexes

Depending on what your doctor finds, he or she may suggest further imaging tests to get a clearer idea of the extent of your injury.

For example, a cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan is commonly used to assess the brain immediately after an accident.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also used at times, as this is the best way to identify any complications that often occur after this type of injury.

Treatment methods

It's important to remember that you can't diagnose a concussion on your own. For example, you may believe you only have a concussion, but after a medical examination might discover that it's a much more serious injury.

Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion, as this gives the brain the time it needs to recover. For example, your doctor will probably suggest that you refrain from any intense mental and physical activity for an extended period of time.

There are many side effects of concussions, like headaches and dizziness. Depending on your pain tolerance, you may need to use acetaminophen or another mild pain reliever for a short while.

One of the biggest risks associated with concussions is delaying medical treatment. For example, you know you struck your head in a motor vehicle accident, but since you don't have any immediate symptoms you go home in an attempt to recover on your own.

Since a concussion can complicate your life in many ways, both after the accident and in the future, you shouldn't hesitate to seek treatment. Also, as time allows, learn more about the accident that caused your concussion and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

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