Concussion

The Concussion Treatment Program at Houston Physicians’ Hospital: When Seconds Count

Nearly one in four Americans suffer a concussion at least once in their lifetime. The condition is one of the most common traumatic brain injuries (TBI) especially among athletesacross the globe. A concussion is not limited to athletes, as anyone can develop a concussion after an aggressive fall, motor vehicle accident, or a head bump against a hard surface.

Although concussions treatments have made much progress, its frequency can undermine its severity, holding people back from immediately seeking medical treatment. Instead, some people who suffer a concussion “shake it off” or resort to home remedies, which can cause long-term damage, prolong recovery, and aggravate symptoms.

A concussion generally occurs when a person suffers an impact to the head. The impact may cause damage to the brain as it jolts back and forth inside the skull, causing an altered mental state, unconsciousness, headaches, an inability to concentrate, and memory loss, among an extensive range of other effects. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

While signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of the concussion, they generally include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Nausea
  • Behavioral changes
  • Memory loss
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of coordination or balance problems
  • Delayed response and reaction
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Feeling “off” or “not right”
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy

Additionally, someone suffering a concussion may become irritable and experience persistent ringing in the ears, which further exacerbates their mental state. If left untreated, the condition triggers the development of psychological conditions that can include anxiety disorder and depression.

Dangerous Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion

Call 9-1-1 right away, or go to the emergency department if he or she has one or more of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body:

  • One pupil is larger than the other
  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away
  • Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions, or seizures (shaking or twitching)
  • Unusual behavior increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Loss of consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously)

Types of Concussions

  • Mild: The range of mild symptoms can last less than 15 minutes and may experience a brief loss of consciousness. 
  • Moderate: The individual loses consciousness for an extended period of time and requires immediate medical attention and often hospital admission. 
  • Severe: People suffering from a severe concussion experience an extended loss of consciousness and often suffer from other simultaneous injuries. 

Leaving a concussion untreated—no matter how mild or severe—can exacerbate the symptoms both short and long term. The individual may develop post-traumatic headaches, post-concussion syndrome, and vertigo, all of which impact the ability to return to a normal life.

We recommend consulting specialists and physicians as soon as possible or no more than 1–2 days of a Grade 1 or 2 concussion.

Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment at Houston Physicians’ Hospital

By performing a neurological examination, researching health history, and doing cognitive testing such as ImPACT®, our team of specialists and physicians evaluate the condition to determine the best course of treatment. 

In most cases, people suffering from a concussion are prescribed medication and given precautionary measures dependent on their lifestyle, cause of trauma, signs and symptoms, and severity of the condition. If necessary, the patient will receive instruction on various exercises prescribed by the physical therapists to alleviate the effects of the concussion. 

By utilizing the latest medical research and advanced technology, our Concussion Coordinator, leading our team in HPH’s Concussion Treatment Program, provides expert testing and treatment to help patients recover completely. Our individualized treatment plans focus on physical therapy performed by a neuro-trained therapist to minimize symptoms both short and long term.

Discover more about our concussion diagnosis and treatment plans by getting in touch with our medical team at Houston Physicians’ Hospital. We serve patients across Southeast Texas—including South Houston, Clear Lake, Webster, League City, and Galveston County.