The brain is a complex organ that controls everything about us. Billions of neurons work together to process information and control every aspect of our nervous system. Any kind of injury to this complicated structure can have lasting damage. A brain injury is a serious injury that can change how the brain functions. Even “mild” head injuries need medical attention. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that can have permanent effects on your life. Many concussion victims experience immediate symptoms, but not all of them. These injuries can have symptoms that gradually appear. Delayed concussion symptoms can be dangerous because they can happen days or even weeks after the initial injury.
If your brain injury was caused by another person’s negligence, contact the experienced brain injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock. We can explore all legal options for you during a free evaluation. Call us today at (713) 622-7271 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
What Can Cause a Concussion?
Any violent blow to the head can result in movement of the brain inside the skull, which can cause a mild traumatic brain injury like a concussion. Causes of concussions include:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Falls (at work, in nursing homes, in public places)
- Physical violence
Risk Factors for Concussions
Some populations are at a much higher risk for a traumatic brain injury. Young children, people who play contact sports, and older adults all have a higher risk for different reasons.
Repeated head injuries are a significant risk for those who play contact sports. Tackle injuries can cause whiplash and other motions that cause the brain to twist or bounce around in the skull.
Young children get regular bumps and bruises as they learn to explore the world around them, but these injuries can cause concussions. These injuries can go unnoticed because they can’t communicate what happened.
Older adults often take blood thinning medication. This can put them at significant risk for brain bleeding and brain swelling after any head injury. Head injuries can be overlooked in older adults because the symptoms can be attributed to other medical issues.
Some people have immediate symptoms, but other symptoms can crop up as the brain heals. The initial symptoms of a concussion can include:
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
- Difficulty sleeping (sleeping more or less than usual and trouble falling asleep)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble balancing
- Difficulty remembering what happened before and after the injury
You should seek medical attention after any head injury, but some symptoms warrant a trip to the emergency room. If you notice the symptoms listed above worsening or new symptoms like slurred speech and uneven pupils, call 911.
Are Concussion Symptoms Different in Children and Adults?
Concussion symptoms are the same for adults and children, but children have a harder time communicating what happened. Concussions in children are often caused by car accidents or falls. There are a few danger signs to look out for in children after a head injury:
- Repeated vomiting
- Loss of newly learned skills like potty training
- Won’t stop crying
- Sad demeanor or other personality changes
- Loss of consciousness
Most concussion symptoms are the same in children and adults, but these danger signs can signify a more immediate problem.
How Long Does It Take Concussion Symptoms to Appear?
Some concussion victims start to feel symptoms within hours of the incident. Sometimes symptoms take days or weeks to show up after the initial injury. This type of delayed concussion can be dangerous because it can hide how serious the injury is. After a head injury, you should continually check for symptoms even if you think the blow wasn’t hard enough to cause damage.
How Are Concussions Treated?
Concussion care focuses on letting the brain heal itself. Physical and mental rest are both needed to recover from a head injury. Complete rest is not recommended for concussion patients. Complete rest includes being alone in a dark room with no stimulus. Instead, treatment options include relative rest for the first couple of days. You should avoid activities that require thinking and concentration, such as reading, watching TV, and playing video games. These can often make your symptoms worse and prolong the recovery process. Sometimes your doctor will recommend rehabilitative therapy. This can help speed up your recovery for vision, balance, and cognitive issues that don’t get better on their own.
Delayed Symptoms of a Head Injury
Delayed concussion symptoms can happen days or weeks after the accident. These symptoms can be hard to notice because they happen gradually. Delayed symptoms can include mood swings, trouble sleeping, headaches, and memory problems. Many people may not even realize they have a concussion. Over time, the symptoms can become worse. In severe cases, the concussion symptoms don’t resolve on their own and develop into post-concussion syndrome.
Persistent post-concussive symptoms can be a sign that your brain isn’t healing as it should. Post-concussion syndrome can plague concussion victims for months after the initial injury. When concussion symptoms last longer than 3 months, your doctor will most likely diagnose you with post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms can prevent you from doing your daily activities and take a serious toll on your mental health. Depression and anxiety can be lasting symptoms of a concussion and cause slow healing.
Do Concussions Have Lasting Effects on the Brain?
Concussions can cause chemical changes to the brain that can lead to anxiety and depression. Any injury to the head can damage brain cells and cause permanent brain damage. As the brain heals, new symptoms can emerge and make your recovery seem endless. In some cases, recovery truly is endless. Concussions can have short-term and long-term effects on your brain, which can impact your daily life.
Minor concussion symptoms are usually short-lived. They often include a temporary loss of balance and decreased coordination, but these issues usually go away quickly. You may experience a brief period of headaches and sleep problems, but the majority of concussions heal after 2 weeks.
Some people experience symptoms for much longer. Any kind of blow to the head while you’re recovering from a concussion can lead to brain tissue damage that causes lasting effects. Even minor injuries after a previous concussion can cause long-term issues. This can include memory problems, vision problems, and severe headaches.
Re-Injury After A Concussion
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), repeated brain injuries can cause longer recovery periods. They can also have more severe symptoms. One concussion may have a short recovery time with no lasting symptoms, but a second concussion can have cumulative effects. Multiple concussions can lead to long-term balance problems, memory loss, and impulse control. Protecting the brain and letting it heal after an injury is imperative to your long-term health. Sustaining a second injury to your head while you recover can result in brain swelling and fatal brain bleeding.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
Brain injuries can change your life and prevent you from doing the things you love. If another person’s negligence caused your brain injury, you could pursue compensation. This can help you recover any financial and physical losses. An experienced brain injury attorney can fight for you while you focus on healing. The attorneys at Reich & Binstock have been fighting for injured clients for nearly 30 years. We know the devastating effects of brain injuries and how much you stand to lose.
Experienced Houston Head Injury Lawyers
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can change your life. Concussion victims often have lasting issues with memory, balance, and mood changes. If you or a loved one sustained a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have legal options available. In addition to medical expenses, concussions can cause long-term issues with your daily life and happiness.
At Reich & Binstock, our Houston personal injury attorneys can help fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (713) 622-7271 for a free consultation.