Adult concussions happen more frequently than most people know. If you or a loved one has fallen or had a blow to the head, it’s important to look for the six signs of adult concussions. If you are experiencing any of these signs, you need to seek medical attention for your head injury.
- Symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating or complex thinking, are negatively affecting your performance at school or work and/or interfering with personal relationships.
- Someone has mentioned a change in your personality.
- You get angry or irritable for no reason.
- You get lost or are easily confused.
- You have more difficulty than usual making decisions.
- Your sleep and/or appetite have changed.
Adult concussions are also called mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). They’re often thought of only in relation to kids or teenagers, but adults of all ages experience concussions. In fact, people ages 75 and older account for the highest number of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths of any age group.
FAQs About Concussions
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Treatments for Concussion
What causes concussions in adults?
Concussions are caused by any type of trauma to the head, such as:
- A fall that led to hitting the head
- Motor vehicle collision that caused a head injury or whiplash
- Sports-related injury that resulted in a blow to the head
- Assault involving a strike to the head
- Other head trauma
When trauma occurs, the brain gets jostled around inside the skull. If it gets pushed up against the side of the skull, the brain can bruise, resulting in a concussion.
Do signs of a concussion show up immediately?
Contrary to popular thought, concussions don’t always result in a person passing out or immediately feeling symptoms. In some cases, symptoms might not develop for weeks or months following a head injury.
Even a mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, can lead to ongoing difficulties with thinking, dizziness, vision, headaches, sleep cycles, and appetite. And having a second concussion before healing from the first is incredibly dangerous, and can result in brain swelling, permanent brain damage and even death. That’s why it’s especially important to seek treatment if your symptoms aren’t going away.
Is there a test for concussion?
There are four standard concussion screening tools that we use to assess whether you have suffered a concussion. In addition to these tests, we might also obtain imaging, such as a CT scan. The screening tools are:
- Standard Assessment of Concussion
- Post- Concussion Symptom Scale and Graded Symptoms Checklist
- Sport Concussion Assessment Tool
- Westmead Post-Traumatic Amnesia Scale
What are treatments for a concussion?
The effects of a head injury don’t always go away with time and can even continue to get worse. If you are having any symptoms of an earlier head trauma—even one that happened months ago—you should be evaluated and treated to regain function and regain your life.
Neursurgery One offers comprehensive concussion care for adults in our specialized Concussion Clinics. Our concussion specialists see patients in our Littleton, Parker and Lakewood offices. We provide comprehensive care in one location and coordinate all of your care to ensure you have the best chance of a full recovery.
In the Neurosurgery One Concussion Clinic, we:
- Assess concussion side effects
- Obtain imaging to help confirm the degree to which the brain has been injured at the time of concussion
- Work with you to create a personalized treatment plan
- Prescribe physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, as appropriate, to help you achieve your goals
- Connect you with neuropsychology providers who can help with memory changes, mood disturbances, and learning difficulties