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What is a Mild Concussion?

Nat Robinson
Nat Robinson

A mild concussion is a mild head injury. It is generally caused by a minor blow to the head, causing the brain to shift inside the skull. The movement can alter brain function for a period of time. An individual with a mild concussion will not typically endure a complete loss of consciousness, although most people will experience some neurological symptoms. These symptoms include head pain, memory loss and balance difficulty.

There can be a variety of causes for this type of head injury. Commonly, a mild concussion is caused by an automobile accident or fall resulting in a hard blow to the head. Athletes are particularly prone to mild concussions, because sports generally involve frequent sudden movements. These sudden moves can result in a collision with a nearby person or thing at any time, which may cause a quick jolt of the head. In some incidences, the concussion is caused by an assault or violent attack.

An MRI scan of the brain can be used to help determine the severity of a concussion.
An MRI scan of the brain can be used to help determine the severity of a concussion.

Every person with a mild concussion will generally react differently. Some people may experience a headache or some degree of memory loss and confusion. There can also be dizziness and trouble maintaining balance. Other symptoms may include ringing sounds in the ears, nausea and speech slurring. The symptoms may not be apparent at first and may develop over a period of time following the injury.

Some people with a mild concussion may experience a headache.
Some people with a mild concussion may experience a headache.

Young children with a concussion should be given very special consideration. Falls and playground injuries are some of the most typical causes of this type of injury in a child. As children brains are more sensitive than an adult, it is important not to underestimate the severity of even a mild concussion. Children may not be able to communicate that they're hurt in the same manner as an adult, although they may experience the same symptoms. Some additional symptoms to look for in a child can include irritability, lack of interest in favorite activities, tiredness and a change in sleep patterns.

Some signs of concussion in children require immediate emergency medical treatment.
Some signs of concussion in children require immediate emergency medical treatment.

A computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will generally be done on an individual with a mild concussion. These diagnostic tests can provide detailed images of the brain and inform doctors of the severity of the injury. Many people with a concussion will be admitted to the hospital overnight, to ensure that their condition is stable. Generally for a mild injury, concussion treatment may include rest, avoiding strenuous activities and taking pain medications as needed. In the event of more serious complications such as bleeding of the skull or brain, more advanced treatment may be given.

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    • An MRI scan of the brain can be used to help determine the severity of a concussion.
      By: Marcin Sadlowski
      An MRI scan of the brain can be used to help determine the severity of a concussion.
    • Some people with a mild concussion may experience a headache.
      By: Picture-Factory
      Some people with a mild concussion may experience a headache.
    • Some signs of concussion in children require immediate emergency medical treatment.
      By: Darren Baker
      Some signs of concussion in children require immediate emergency medical treatment.
    • Luckily, most concussions are minor and do not cause lasting brain injury.
      By: seraphic06
      Luckily, most concussions are minor and do not cause lasting brain injury.
    • If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, they should be taken off the field of play immediately.
      By: Diego Barbieri
      If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, they should be taken off the field of play immediately.
    • Football players who are severely tackled might suffer a mild concussion.
      By: John Johnson
      Football players who are severely tackled might suffer a mild concussion.