Concussions: How They Can Affect You in the Present and Future
Brain injury is a serious issue. But when you think about it, you likely imagine a devastating cause such as a bad fall, a traffic accident, or even a nasty blow during a fight.
But the thing is, brain injury happens a lot more often, just in a milder form that’s generally ignored. That mild form of brain injury is called a concussion.
Concussions are common in sports but even more common after a car accident due to the sudden movements that cause the brain to shift in its place.
Are concussions serious?
If you sustain a concussion, say, after a car accident, don’t take it lightly. Get treated immediately. You even have the right to compensation.
Realize that you can’t be certain about the extent of the injury, as concussions have short-term and long-term consequences.
Short-Term Effects of Concussions
Following a concussion, you begin to experience immediate effects that may last a few hours, days, or even weeks. These are known as short-term effects, and they include:
You may notice confusion after a concussion. It’s a common effect of brain trauma, which manifests as the inability to understand or make sense of what’s happening around you. As a short-term problem, the issue generally goes away.
A headache is an expected response to brain injury. Concussions generally cause violent movement of the brain in its space, and such a disturbance may result in a headache.
You may also experience headaches due to damage to the cells, so it’s crucial to receive immediate medical care after a concussion to ascertain the extent of the damage.
Vision problems can accompany concussions because of the intricate relationship between your eyes and your brain. Considering the signals in the brain are what allow you to perceive things, trauma, even a mild one, can tamper with the process.
Loss of Memory
Concussions also lead to memory loss, and because your brain is your body’s central processing unit, you may find that you can’t remember things well enough. This may last a short while, or it could be recurring.
You may also have difficulties concentrating days or even weeks after sustaining a concussion. Loss of focus is an issue you may not notice right away.
Sensitivity to Light
One of the most reported symptoms of a concussion is sensitivity to light. You can relieve the discomfort associated with photosensitivity using glasses and eye drops.
Long-Term Effects of Concussions
The serious side of concussions is the real likelihood of long-term brain damage.
According to findings by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, damage to the brain as a result of a concussion can last for decades after the accident.
While short-term effects set in almost immediately and fade away after a while, long-term effects can take a while, even years, to materialize. Such cases generally mean the concussion has led to serious brain damage.
Let’s take a look at what the long-term effects of concussions look like:
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
While rare, concussions can lead to a serious condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is basically a slow but steady degeneration of brain tissue.
A lot about the condition is still unknown, but experts have linked it to damage caused by concussion, especially repeated incidents of concussion.
Permanent Memory Loss
Memory loss is usually a short-term effect, but you can also develop long-term memory loss due to post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms tend to persist beyond the expected recovery period.
While most people recover from long-term memory loss through therapy and medications, the loss of memory can also be permanent.
Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes involuntary movements, can also occur because of a concussion. Developing Parkinson’s later in life is a genuine risk for individuals who suffer concussions since the disease is caused by damage to the nerve cells.
Alzheimer’s disease is yet another brain disorder that can occur later in life as a result of a concussion.
The disease causes degeneration of brain cells leading to a progressive decline in mental functions. One of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease is brain trauma.
The brain is a delicate organ. Any form of injury to it, even a mild one like a concussion, can have serious consequences. Hopefully, this post has shown you what could happen at present and in the future after a concussion.