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4 Common Misconceptions About Concussions

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Posted on August 25, 2022

Traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of disability and death in the United States. The most commonly diagnosed type of traumatic brain injury is the concussion. A concussion is damage to the brain caused by an external force, such as a blow to the head. Concussions can happen in many different accidents in Florida, including car accidents, slip and falls, and diving accidents. Dispelling myths and correcting misconceptions about concussions can help you learn the facts about this type of brain injury.

Concussions Are Always Minor

When many people hear the word, “concussion,” or even think that they might have one, they assume that this is a minor injury that is not a cause for concern. Neurologists, however, say that there is no such thing as a minor brain injury. While it is true that concussions are often less serious than other types of brain injuries and generally do not cause permanent damage, every case is unique. It is possible even for a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion to have far-reaching implications for a victim.

You Can Only Get a Concussion From Hitting Your Head

Not all concussions are caused by a bump or blow to the head. While popular media has emphasized the risk of concussions in contact sports such as tackle football, some brain injuries result from being hit in other areas of the body, such as the neck and back. Being jolted, shaken or whipped around in an accident can also cause a brain injury, even without being hit on the head. Anything that shakes the head and forces the brain to strike against the inside of the skull can cause damage in the form of a concussion.

You Only Have a Concussion if You Lost Consciousness

It is true that you may have a concussion if you blacked out or lost consciousness for any amount of time after an accident. However, this is not a requirement for a concussion diagnosis. Concussions have a wide range of symptoms that do not always include passing out. They include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches or pressure in the head
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating

Contrary to popular belief, losing consciousness is a relatively uncommon effect of being concussed. Another misconception is that concussions always cause immediate symptoms. Many concussions come with delayed or hidden symptoms that aren’t noticeable until hours or even days later. Do not assume that you’re fine if you don’t notice symptoms right away.

Rest Is the Best or Only Treatment

There are several myths surrounding concussions and sleep. The first is that someone with a concussion should not fall asleep. While this is true in the first few hours, when there is a risk of brain swelling or bleeding, after the risk of a more serious brain injury has passed, the individual should be allowed to rest for the next 48 to 72 hours. Fatigue is often a persistent problem for brain injury survivors.

Another misconception is that the only treatment for a concussion is rest. Rest is part of healing from a concussion, but this is far from the only available treatment – and it may not be the best treatment for a patient. For example, light exercise or activity is recommended after the rest period. Other concussion treatments can include medications, therapies and rehabilitation. Always see a doctor after suffering a head injury for a personalized treatment plan. Do not attempt to self-treat simply by resting.

Diagnosed With a Concussion or Brain Injury? You May Be Eligible for Financial Compensation

If you have been diagnosed with a concussion or a more serious brain injury in Tampa, Florida, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the person or party that caused your injury. The Tampa brain injury attorneys at Vanguard Attorneys provide free case consultations, where we will listen to your story and let you know if your case has merit. If so, we may offer to represent you during insurance settlement negotiations or a personal injury trial in Hillsborough County. Call today (813) 680-2007 for more information.