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Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Concussion

Although athletes are 3-6 times more likely to get a concussion than the general population, everyone is at risk of developing this type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as the result of a fall or violent head movement (e.g., car accident).

Concussions can be minor or severe, but regardless of their degree, all TBIs affect your brain function and may impact key activities, such as concentration, memory, and balance. If you suspect a concussion, don’t ignore it. Getting treatment helps you recover faster and more fully.

Clinical neuropsychologist Richard D. Abbey, PhD and the team of providers at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California specialize in diagnosing and treating concussions. Our customized therapies rehabilitate your brain and support recovery from your trauma. 

Keep reading to learn more about concussions and why seeking treatment is essential to your recovery and health. 

Why shouldn’t I ignore a concussion?

It’s important not to underestimate the effects of a concussion. TBIs disrupt your brain function, and if not treated can have long-term consequences including chronic headaches and fatigue, cognitive processing trouble, and issues with concentration and memory.

Our understanding of the brain is developing, and scientists don’t fully understand how concussions affect the brain. What’s more? After a concussion, you have a much higher chance of getting another TBI since your balance and reaction time are affected.

This is cause for concern because repeated concussions can have serious neurological consequences, including an inability to understand when listening or reading, attention issues, and problems with motor skills, such as tremors at rest, muscle twitching, and difficulty with movement. 

What are the signs of a concussion?

If you or someone around you experiences a head injury, a concussion is possible. Understanding the signs of a concussion helps you know when to seek treatment so you can get on the path to rehabilitation sooner and avoid any long-term complications. 

Early signs of a concussion

Early signs of a concussion show up within a short period (usually within minutes) after the event that affected the brain or head and include: 

Sometimes nausea or vomiting, which indicate a concussion, can develop soon after the head injury occurs.

Later signs of a concussion 

Sometimes the signs of a concussion take several hours to appear. In addition, these signs may change, or new symptoms may develop, in the days after the injury as the brain becomes stressed by activity, like physical movement, reading, or watching TV. Symptoms include:

Changes in baseline mood, behavior, or personality may also develop after getting a concussion.

Signs of a severe concussion 

Most concussions are mild, and recovery doesn’t take long. However, some concussions are severe and require immediate medical attention. Signs of a severe concussion include:

Some people with a severe concussion also have trouble eating and drinking. If you or someone near you shows any of these signs, see a medical professional immediately.

What treatments help rehabilitate a concussion?

The right treatment for your concussion depends on several factors, such as the severity of the concussion, area(s) of the brain affected, and the associated cognitive problems. Your Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic team conducts a personalized assessment to create a customized concussion treatment plan that may include:

To get help diagnosing or treating a concussion, contact the experts at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic at our Palo Alto office by calling 650-215-6840. You can also book an appointment online or schedule a telehealth consultation.  

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