The Dangerous Impact of Concussions
Concussions are considered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and can impact the way your brain works. The effects of a TBI can last anywhere from a few days to the rest of your life. A mild TBI may cause a brief loss of consciousness, whereas a severe TBI may cause an extended period of unconsciousness and affect your thinking, senses, language, and emotions.
The Concussion Problem
According to the CDC, about 2.8 million TBI-related ER visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred in the United States in 2013 alone. The leading causes of TBIs include falls, getting struck against an object, and vehicle accidents.
Long-Term Effects of TBIs
Depending on the severity, a TBI can cause serious brain damage and even death. The short-term and long-term effects of a concussion can impact:
- Your thinking, impairing your memory, concentration, and reasoning abilities.
- Your bodily sensation, inducing chronic headaches, affecting sleep, and throwing off your sight and balance.
- Your language, affecting your communication, understanding, and expression.
- Your emotions, causing psychological problems, depression, and personality changes like aggression and social inappropriateness.
Concussions can also accelerate mental decline in patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. The more concussions you get, the more cumulative and devastating the cognitive and neurological defects can be. When it comes to TBIs, exercising extreme caution is advised.
Learn more about preventing and recognizing concussions. If you or someone you know loses consciousness from head trauma, call 911 or go to your preferred emergency services facility. CHI St. Luke's Health emergency departments are equipped to treat even the most severe TBIs.