A concussion is an injury to your brain that temporarily affects your thinking and awareness.
The skull bone protects your brain. Fluid inside your skull also cushions your brain. However, if your head gets hit hard enough, your brain can move inside the skull and bump up against your skull. This may injure your brain and temporarily change the way your brain works.
You may be knocked out (unconscious), or you may just feel confused
Doctors will do a CT scan of your head to make sure your brain isn't bleeding or bruised
Once you get a concussion you can get future concussions more easily, especially if your brain hasn't healed
Repeated concussions may increase your chance of getting long-term brain damage and dementia
Concussions are caused by something hitting your head very hard (head injury). This can happen when, for example, you:
Many sports have a risk of concussion (see Sports-Related Concussion).
If you have a concussion, you may:
Post-concussion syndrome is when you have symptoms after your concussion. You may have:
Dizziness and light-headedness
Being tired, easily annoyed, or sensitive to light or noise
Trouble paying attention
Depression and anxiety
Usually these symptoms go away in a week or two. Less often, these symptoms last for months.
Your doctor can tell you've had a concussion based on the symptoms you had after having a head injury.
In order to tell whether you've had any brain injury, doctors will usually:
Do a CT scan of your head to make sure your brain isn't bleeding or bruised
You may not need a CT scan if your symptoms went away in a few minutes after your head injury.
Your doctor will have you:
Don’t play contact sports, which put you at higher risk of concussion, until your doctor says your head injury is completely healed and that you can return to play.
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