How Long do Concussions Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-2 weeks

A concussion is an injury to the brain that is caused by getting hit on the head or by violent shaking causing the head to move back and forth. When this happens, the brain gets injured and the severity can range from mild to serious. This can sometimes lead to loss of consciousness though not always the case.

Concussions symptoms include loss of cognitive functions such as reasoning, memorizing, and focusing or paying attention. There is no definite cure for concussions, so the patient is advised to rest and avoid activities that require attention and thinking. Medication may be prescribed for symptoms such as headache and nausea.

How Long do Concussions Last?

Severity of the concussionTime to recover
Mild1-2 days
Moderate7-14 days
SeriousFew weeks to few months

The severity of the concussion is the factor that allows inferring the recovery time.

A mild concussion needs a rest of one to two days before returning to regular activities. The symptoms of a mild concussion will include headache and difficulty in breathing. The injured person may feel dazed for less than a minute or a minute at the time of the injury.

A moderate concussion needs a rest of a week or two averaging at 10 days, before returning to regular activities. The symptoms of a mild concussion will include ringing in the ears, confusion, dizziness, and amnesia. The injured person may have experienced feeling dazed for more than a minute when the injury occurred.

A serious severity of concussion might need more than a few weeks to a few months of rest before returning to a normal lifestyle. The symptoms witnessed may include loss of consciousness for a minute or more.

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Generally, the severity of concussions is graded based on the symptoms in the patient. The stages start at grade 0 and go on to grade 4. Grade 0 and grade 1 indicate mild severity, grade 2 as moderately severe, and grade 3 and grade 4 stand to be severe trauma. Though the grading gives an idea of the severity of the injury, the treatment and recovery might vary from individual to individual.

Why do Concussions Last That Long?

Concussions generally occur due to accidents such as vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and falls. Sometimes it can be due to physical fights or abuses that result in a blow to the head. The trauma caused to the brain due to the force results in concussions.

If one suffers a concussion the person should consult a doctor for proper diagnosis. Once the severity of the concussion is diagnosed, the amount of rest and medication will be prescribed.

It usually takes a few hours to 10 days for the recovery of a patient from a concussion. But sometimes it can prolong for months together if the injury is severe. The different stages in recovery from a concussion are the acute phase, recovery phase, and chronic phase.

In the acute phase of the concussion, one experiences all the symptoms associated with a concussion. This can include the inability to recollect, focus or memorize. The patient in this stage is advised to rest and avoid work where mental focus and visual focus are needed.

In the recovery phase, a patient observes that the symptoms are decreasing and the severity of the symptoms is subsiding. This is when the patient can slowly go back to normal activities. It should be taken care that the transition is slow and does not strain the mind. The chronic phase is when a patient observes that the cognitive abilities have been affecting for a long time or chronic period. This can cause permanent damage to cognitive function at times if not managed closely and carefully.

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Conclusion

Before returning to work or school, one should make sure that he, she or they completely recovers from the symptoms of the concussion, to avoid any mishap. The patient should not push the limits and strain one’s brain as it can result in permanent damage to cognitive functions.

Everything said one should be careful while driving; playing sports and distance oneself from physical fights to avoid head injuries. Because at any time, prevention is always better than cure.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02699050500309817
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-015-0325-8

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