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What is a Mild Concussion?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
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A mild concussion is a mild head injury. It is generally caused by a minor blow to the head, causing the brain to shift inside the skull. The movement can alter brain function for a period of time. An individual with a mild concussion will not typically endure a complete loss of consciousness, although most people will experience some neurological symptoms. These symptoms include head pain, memory loss and balance difficulty.

There can be a variety of causes for this type of head injury. Commonly, a mild concussion is caused by an automobile accident or fall resulting in a hard blow to the head. Athletes are particularly prone to mild concussions, because sports generally involve frequent sudden movements. These sudden moves can result in a collision with a nearby person or thing at any time, which may cause a quick jolt of the head. In some incidences, the concussion is caused by an assault or violent attack.

Every person with a mild concussion will generally react differently. Some people may experience a headache or some degree of memory loss and confusion. There can also be dizziness and trouble maintaining balance. Other symptoms may include ringing sounds in the ears, nausea and speech slurring. The symptoms may not be apparent at first and may develop over a period of time following the injury.

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Young children with a concussion should be given very special consideration. Falls and playground injuries are some of the most typical causes of this type of injury in a child. As children brains are more sensitive than an adult, it is important not to underestimate the severity of even a mild concussion. Children may not be able to communicate that they're hurt in the same manner as an adult, although they may experience the same symptoms. Some additional symptoms to look for in a child can include irritability, lack of interest in favorite activities, tiredness and a change in sleep patterns.

A computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will generally be done on an individual with a mild concussion. These diagnostic tests can provide detailed images of the brain and inform doctors of the severity of the injury. Many people with a concussion will be admitted to the hospital overnight, to ensure that their condition is stable. Generally for a mild injury, concussion treatment may include rest, avoiding strenuous activities and taking pain medications as needed. In the event of more serious complications such as bleeding of the skull or brain, more advanced treatment may be given.

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