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What is a concussion?

Dr Hélène Huot
Doctor

A concussion, also known as mild head injury, results from a blow to the head, a fall or a major impact, leading to a collision between the brain and the wall of the skull. Unfortunately, these head injuries are very common in the athletic world and can have serious consequences.

Causes

Players of impact sports are definitely at risk of concussion. Whether the sport is hockey or football, blows to the head are frequent, although they are by no means desirable. It is important to always protect your head to avoid serious injuries, which is why wearing a helmet is mandatory and part of the official uniform for this type of sport. However, this is not the only cause of concussion, since car accidents and falls can also be responsible for these mild head injuries.

Symptoms

It is important to note that the symptoms of concussion can vary greatly from person to person. The most common symptoms noted following a head impact are headache, dizziness, problems with concentration and vision, as well as confusion. Sensitivity to light and noise, along with fatigue and nausea, are also common. In certain more severe cases, a loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes, as well as amnesia, may also be observed. These symptoms usually occur within 24 hours of impact.

However, some people may be completely asymptomatic following a blow to the head, or experience their first symptoms a few days after impact. This can be very dangerous, since given that the main treatment for concussion is rest and temporarily stopping the physical activity, a person who feels no symptoms runs the risk of worsening the situation by resuming their activities too soon.

Diagnosis and treatment

To diagnose a concussion, the doctor will first do a physical assessment. If the pupils of the eyes are dilated and do not appear to react to light, then they will have a good clue. Certain tests may also be prescribed to confirm a diagnosis, such as a CT scan, an electroencephalogram (EEG) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Depending on the results, the doctor will ask the patient not to practice the athletic activity for a specific time, and may recommend taking medication to reduce pain, if necessary, such as analgesics for headaches.

Imagix clinics are equipped with state-of-the-art imaging equipment that can help doctors diagnose a concussion and determine the right treatment.

If you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call our customer service number at 1 833 590-2715.