When you shouldn’t let that bump go unattended
It happens. Sometimes you bump your noggin during a fall, a vehicle accident, playing sports, or some other unforeseen misfortune. Regardless, ignoring a concussion (suspected or otherwise) can have serious and sometimes dangerous effects on your brain.
“After a jarring hit to the head, it is common for people to experience headaches and dizziness, and sometimes even fatigue and balance issues” explains Dr. Ryan Murphy, emergency medicine medical director at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI. “It’s when those symptoms last more than a few weeks that concerns grow more serious.”
That’s why, if you suspect you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury – or, as more commonly known, a concussion – you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
“If left unattended for too long with prolonged symptoms, it means your brain hasn’t healed itself, as most brains do,” Dr. Murphy says. “The chances of someone’s brain not healing after a concussion can be increased if a person has had two or more concussions in their lifetime.”
When a brain fails to heal itself, these symptoms can become permanent. However, if medical help is sought as soon as possible, your chances of recovery are greatly increased.
“There is a series of tests we can do to help assess the severity of the injury, as you can have a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic head injury. If left untreated, a concussion has the potential of resulting in permanent mental, physical, and/or emotional issues,” says Dr. Murphy.
These consequences can include:
- Loss of vision, speech, or hearing
- Behavioral changes and issues
- Frequent or constant headache
If you suspect you may have a concussion, contact your doctor right away. You shouldn’t let COVID-19 keep you from seeking the health care you need. Read how Advocate Aurora Health is taking additional steps to keep you safe with its Safe Care Promise.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.