A concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), occurs as a result of a blow, bump, or jolt to the head that causes the brain to move suddenly within the skull. The result of this movement is a chemical alteration and damage to brain cells that may impair brain function. Symptoms of concussions typically stem from this impairment and can include severe migraine headaches, nausea and dizziness, vision and other sensory impairment, issues sleeping, alterations in mood, and trouble thinking clearly and recalling memories correctly. If someone receives a severe concussion, they may experience loss of consciousness, seizures, and bleeding in the skull and require immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity, symptoms of a concussion typically last anywhere from a few days to a few months. However, if a person suffers a severe concussion or has multiple events over the course of a few years, the brain may not heal completely, and the individual could have permanent brain damage.
Concussions are one of, if not the most, common head injuries sustained by both adults and children. In fact, research suggests over three million concussions occur every year in the United States, with several hundreds of thousands of those requiring emergency medical treatment. Athletes who engage in contact sports are most at risk for concussion and account for the majority of emergency room visits. Other causes include car accidents, falls, and fights.
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