How to Deal with a Concussion

Four Parts:Upon Receiving the ConcussionThe First WeekThe First MonthThe Remaining Months

Having a concussion is absolutely no fun. However, it doesn't have to be a total nightmare! The steps in this article will let you know how to deal with your concussion. Get started at number one below.

Part 1
Upon Receiving the Concussion

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    Understand that when you fall you'll probably be dizzy and, obviously, hurting. You may even black out. If you aren't unconscious, the important thing is to be as still as possible. If you have to, scoot over to a wall to rest. If possible, immediately ask for ice. Concussions are very serious injuries that must be treated as quickly as possible.
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    Don't try to do anything, such as walk around or get up from a fall. No matter the situation, it can wait. If you can in your situation, lie down.
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    Have a person explain the process of treating a concussion. Upon reading this information, this person will know how to continue on. It's a good idea to have a person you are normally with a lot read this, even if your concussion is not too bad. It could not only benefit you, but also someone else the person may meet who gets a concussion.
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    Call or have someone call for medical assistance if you are feeling weak on one side of your body, are vomiting continuously, are confused or anxious, have neck pain (if the concussion was caused by a fall), or are very drowsy.

Part 2
The First Week

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    Understand that the first week of your concussion will probably not be pleasant. You'll be getting constant headaches at least. Depending on the severity of the concussion, you could be vomiting, dizzy, and having trouble with concentration and memory. This is known as post-concussion syndrome, a side effect of minor head injuries. If you're at a hospital, choosing medications shouldn't be a problem. But if not, this is a bit of an issue.
    • Don't take ibuprofen or aspirin; both of these could worsen your concussion. If you are not given a prescription, you'll want to take Tylenol, or acetaminophen. An over-the-counter dose is fine for a concussion. Always follow the drug manufacturers' directions and warnings about proper dosages. Amitriptyline has been shown to be effective in some cases. However, this medication requires a prescription.
    • You will want to keep your medicine with you as much as possible. Headaches can be constant, or intermittent. Headache pain may come on suddenly, or gradually build in intensity. Wearing sunglasses can be helpful, as well as maintaining a quiet, relaxed environment.
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    Have someone stay with you for at least the first 24 hours. Someone will need to monitor your symptoms. If you were hospitalized at all for this concussion, try to have someone with you as much as possible for a week or so.
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    See a doctor. A neurologist specializes in post concussion syndrome diagnosis and treatment. This is an important step even if you are not vomiting or dizzy. He or she can provide a note excusing you from physical activities, giving you time off of work or school, or even give you a medication to help you deal with your post-concussion syndrome. He or she may perform a CAT scan or MRI to look at the damage the concussion did as well.
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    Post concussion syndrome can also produce other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision, irritability, difficulty focusing and concentrating on tasks, sudden onset dizziness, or vertigo, tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and nausea.

Part 3
The First Month

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    Take note that after getting a concussion, you're more prone to injure yourself again. Take particular caution.
    • If you fall again, let your doctor(s) know immediately. There could be some undetected, underlying issues.
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    Take caution once you get back to your physical activity. Make sure that your boss or coach knows the situation so that he or she will be forewarned if your symptoms recur. Don't feel embarrassed. Concussions can be a serious matter.

Part 4
The Remaining Months

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    Understand that it is possible to experience the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for 3-6 months or longer, depending on the overall and underlying health of the injured person. There is no cure at the moment, but the symptoms should gradually subside as time goes by, and you should be able to get back to your normal schedule.


  • In order to reduce your risk of suffering from concussion, wear a helmet when horse riding, playing cricket, riding your bike or doing anything that might result in a blow to the head.


  • Only take pain medication when you feel you cannot do without. Abuse of any drug can lead to addiction, which is a much worse path than a concussion leads you down.
  • Take acetaminophen with caution. It has been known to cause severe liver problems. Take all meds as prescribed by your MD, or, if over-the-counter, follow the drug manufacturer's directions and heed all warnings.

Article Info

Categories: Conditions and Treatments | First Aid and Emergencies