We have a coworker that has been suffering the effects of a concussion since last June and a lot of people think the person is faking it to get out of coming to work. I’m familiar with concussions, in that some of my favorite athletes that play hockey (Sidney Crosby) have suffered from it. But other than that, didn’t know much about the condition. I thought i’d write this article to educate us on it.

What is a concussion?
Trauma to the head that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause brain injury that while are not usually life-threatening, may result in many different & serious symptoms that require medical treatment.

What is special about it?
You can pass out from it, have memory loss, have other obvious symptoms or none at all. After suffering a concussion, you become more susceptible to getting another one. These second impact syndromes (SIS) are more serious in that it has increased chances of severe brain swelling which can be fatal.

What kind of symptoms are there?
– headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness (vertigo)
– convulsions or seizures
– confusion and slurred speech
– sensitivity to light/noise
– become more emotional
– not being able to concentrate or remember new information
– loss of energy or having a hard time falling asleep
– loss of consciousness

How do you test for a concussion?
– go to a doctor who will test your ability to pay attention, learn and your memory
– CT scan (computed tomography – detailed pictures of structures inside the body)
– MRI (magnetic resonance imaging – to see if the brain is bruised or bleeding)
– in cases of seizures, EEG test (electroencephalogram – monitors brain waves)

What do you do to heal?
– rest, rest and more rest
– avoid physical exertion (sports)
– limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration (reading, texting, playing video games, watching TV, or using a computer)

The Million Dollar Question: What is the normal time to heal?
The good news: A person can feel normal within a few hours/days, and make a full recovery.
The bad news: For others, it can last for weeks, months or even for a year or more. On top of that, having suffered a concussion, you’re now more susceptible to suffering more serious symptoms next time.