St. Camillus informs readers how to identify, treat concussions

Use your head wisely

Brain injuries don't discriminate. They can affect any one at any time and range from a concussion or stroke to injuries caused by a traumatic event. Last week, The Eagle Bulletin acknowledged March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month by publishing "Time lost is brain lost," an article that specifically recognized the seriousness of stroke. It covered signs and symptoms, risk factors as well as prevention methods. This week's focus (the second in a series of three), is on concussion, an injury to the brain caused by a blow that can result in loss of consciousness.

St. Camilllus is a not-for-profit healthcare facility esteemed for its comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation programs. Employees Kathy Walsh, a physical therapist; doctor of physical therapy and a neurology certified specialist, and speech-language pathologist Kate Williams, responded to the following questions pertaining this type of brain injury.

What are the most common accidents that result in a concussion?

Car accidents, falls, contact sports and being struck in the head with an object.

What are some symptoms of a concussion?

Symptoms can include headache, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/balance problems, double/blurry vision, sensitivity to light and noise, memory problems, confusion, difficulty concentrating and paying attention, decreased energy, change in sleep patterns and ringing in the ears.

Concussions can range from mild to severe. Some people have concussions and do not even realize it. Recovery time typically correlates with severity; symptoms can last days, weeks, months, sometimes years, and in the most severe cases, they may never resolve.

What safety measures can be taken to reduce the risk of getting a concussion?

Safety measures for all include wearing helmets during activities and sports such as bike riding, inline skating, skateboarding, skiing and sledding. People should consistently wearing their seat belts while driving and riding in cars; and in regard to water safety, ensure that no one jumps into shallow water head first.

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