(W)holistic Living…Thoughts from the Parish Nurse
Last month was Traumatic Brain Injury Month but my newsletter focus was on wellness events for Lent. I feel it is important to still present this timely information on concussions. This has been a much discussed topic on the news lately from the pro football leagues to our children who engage in sports activities. Every year there are up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the United States. Among 15-24 year- olds, sports are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury.
A concussion occurs when an impact causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull which can disrupt the function of the brain. Most people recover from a concussion quickly and fully, but for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children and teens. Those who have a history of more than one concussion also are at risk for a longer recovery. Most concussions do not cause loss of consciousness. Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
A dazed or stunned appearance Headache Nausea
Confusion or clumsiness Balance problems
Slow responses to questions
Personality or behavior changes Depression
Double or blurry vision
Fatigue or drowsiness Irritability
Sensitivity to light or noise
Loss of consciousness-even temporary Changed sleep patterns
Trouble with comprehension
The following are ways to help decrease the symptoms from a concussion and help speed up the recovery process. Over stimulation of the brain post-injury will not allow the brain to rest and recover.
Get some sleep. Our brain recovers during sleep. The brain also needs rest after a concussion. Using your brain to think hard, read, study, or try to learn new material may be very difficult and aggravate the condition. Returning to sports too soon after a concussion can lead to worsening symptoms and missing additional time on the court or field.
Complications of repeated concussions include seizure activity, lasting and even progressive cognitive impairment that limits functional ability.
In faith, hope and love,
Parish Nurse Bev