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What is a Concussion?

A concussion, also called a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs as a result of a blow or an injury to the head. Concussions are common in people involved in sports such as football, ice hockey, snow skiing, bicycling, etc. Usually, a concussion may be mild and does not result in long-term damage, but repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage.

The symptoms may be immediate or delayed and can include:

  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sleep pattern changes

What is a Concussion Test?

A concussion test is conducted to assess your brain activity and measure its normal function following a head injury and is performed by a trained doctor. Concussion testing involves an examination of your reflexes, balance and coordination, vision, hearing, memory, attention span, etc.

How is a Concussion Test Performed?

A concussion test includes the following steps:

  • Your doctor will ask for your symptoms and perform a physical examination.
  • Your doctor will take your medical history including how the injury occurred and where you were hit.
  • An X-ray, CT-scan or MRI will be ordered.
  • A cognitive test may be performed to test your brain processing speed, verbal memory, visual memory and reaction time.
  • A neurovestibular test may be performed to test your vision, hearing, and balance.
  • The results are analyzed by your doctor and necessary treatment is initiated.

Concussion test in Athletes

Athletes involved in contact sports are at a higher risk of concussion. A baseline concussion test is conducted before the start of sports activities which helps to compare the symptoms in cases of injury and help you to recover faster.

Treatment after Concussion Test

The treatment may involve the following measures including:

  • Getting plenty of sleep during the night as well as taking a nap during the day.
  • Refraining from activities that can stress your mind.
  • Refraining from sports or games that may worsen concussion symptoms.
  • Taking prescribed medications to recover from injury.

Prevention of Concussion

Concussions can be prevented by:

  • Wearing protective sportswear such as helmet
  • Checking for the proper working of sports equipment
  • Wearing a seat belt while driving
  • Avoiding alcohol or drug influence while driving
  • Avoiding the risk of fall at your home or workplace

  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • North American Spine