Bumped Your Head? Known Signs of Concussion

One of the most dangerous injuries that can occur in the workplace is concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head. However, a concussion can be very difficult to spot, as around 90% of cases do not involve a loss of consciousness. Not only does concussion pose a serious physical risk to individuals, the absenteeism it can cause can also affect a business’ bottom line. To prevent this, organisations utilise the services of industry experts such as those at Phoenix Health and Safety to help workers recognise the symptoms of concussion.

Mind Your Head Concussion

The Signs of Concussion

Apart from feeling drowsy or nauseous, and displaying physical injury from the blow to the head, those who suffer concussion are also at risk of long term problems. There are four main areas that can be affected as a result of concussion, each with different symptoms and associated problems. The consequences of concussion can be cognitive, physical, emotional and sleep-related. Read on for more information on each of these areas.

Cognitive

The cognitive side effects of concussion include feeling mentally hazy or sluggish. This mental fatigue is particularly dangerous as it can slow down reaction time and the rate of information perception, making sufferers struggle with simple tasks. It can also lead to dips in concentration as well as both short and long term memory loss. Confusion can also set in. If you suspect that someone is suffering from a concussion or other head trauma then it may be possible to get clues from their conversation. Often those experiencing concussion  have trouble answering questions quickly or may repeat themselves. Their speech can also be slurred.

Physical

When it comes to concussion, the physical symptoms are often the most noticeable and first to appear. If you suspect that someone may be suffering from the condition, even if they have not been knocked unconscious by an injury, there are several things to look out for. Any reports of a headache, especially around the point of impact, should be noted. Nausea, vomiting and loss of balance are also common symptoms. If the person in question has dilated pupils or they are complaining of dizziness or blurred vision then they should be referred to a medical expert. Other symptoms include a sensitivity to light and sound, chronic tiredness or a feeling of numbness in the limbs, fingers or toes.

Emotional

The emotional symptoms of concussion are perhaps the least obvious, but they can still have a detrimental effect on an individual’s health. The emotional signs often include an increase in irritability or sadness. The sufferer may also report heightened emotional about things they would usually be unaffected by. Feeling more nervous or defensive are also common.

Sleep

In the direct aftermath of a head trauma it is possible that an individual may feel drowsy or tired. This is completely normal and, if correctly diagnosed, can be treated. Sufferers can feel tired for long periods of time and find that they have trouble falling asleep. Once the individual does manage to sleep, they may suffer from disjointed sleeping patterns. If this seems to be the case, then it must be reported at the earliest opportunity.

The seriousness of concussion is not something that can be taken lightly and, as such, it is imperative that anybody who suffers head trauma is checked straight away. Anyone who experiences the symptoms outlined above but cannot remember experiencing a blow to the head should still seek medical advice as it may be that the injury has caused memory loss.

About The Author

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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