A brain injury that is one of the more serious side effects of getting a blow to the head, a concussion can sometimes be hard to recognize and diagnose. This is why it’s important to go to the doctor’s office if you suspect your head injury is accompanied by a concussion. But, how do doctors diagnose a concussion and how can you recognize it?
Symptoms of a Concussion
The single most common type of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has several symptoms that manifest as physical, emotional, and cognitive.
- Vomiting and nausea;
- Blurry vision;
- Light or noise sensitivity;
- Problems maintaining balance.
- Anxiety or nervousness;
- Trouble falling asleep or sleeping more than usual.
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Memory problems;
- Feeling slowed down.
How Do Doctors Diagnose It?
A concussion is usually diagnosed in the emergency room, immediately after you’ve experienced head trauma. However, it’s not uncommon for a concussion to be diagnosed a few days later, after the patient checks in to seek treatment for the symptoms we previously mentioned.
The doctor will use several methods to diagnose a concussion:
- An interview where your doctor will ask you about the possible loss of consciousness you experienced, assess your memory and check for other symptoms.
- Assessment of the severity of your symptoms with the help of standardized tests like SCAT-5.
- Checking for neurological symptoms by testing your strength, reflexes, coordination, and similar neurological functions.
The Bottom Line
The first symptoms of a concussion can often be hard to detect. So, if somebody close to you has suffered a head injury, pay close attention to their behavior. To eliminate concussion as an option, it’s best to visit your doctor.