What really happens when you hit your head?
You might have bumped your head before without finding out any serious effects afterwards. However, some head bumps are more impactful as they may hurt your brain and temporarily affect the way it works. The brain is protected by the bone of the skull. When you hit your head excessively hard, the brain may shift inside of the skull and knock against its bony surface. This may lead to concussion—a temporary unconsciousness due to a hard blow on the head.
Concussion may be hard to be determine physically, as thorough medical examination is required to define the situation. However, some symptoms may sign this condition occurring after you are hitting your head hard.
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache that eventually gets worse
- Excessive nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision that does not improve for certain period after a head blow
- Trouble walking
- Confusion and trouble talking (unclear speech)
- Unresponsive and cannot be woken up
Should you stay awake after a concussion?
One of the most widely-known old wives’ tales about concussion is that those who suffer from a hard blow in the head and hence, concussion should be kept awake after the injury. You should not let a person with concussion sleep because you might put this person into a coma. In fact, you do not have to be unconscious to have a concussion. Therefore, letting people that have just experienced a hit to the head is said to raise the risk of putting him into unconsciousness, especially if the hit does cause significant brain injuries.
Hence, do you really need to stay awake after a concussion, and if you do, for how long? In fact, there have been various researches, studies, and journals related to this matter. According to those studies, it is not necessary to make someone with concussion to stay awake, as long as the injured person is awake and able to hold conversations.
Paying attention to other symptoms after someone is hit or blown in the head can also be helpful in determining his risk of being unconscious after sleeping. An injured person with concussion that has no walking or talking difficulty can be put into sleep after a thorough medical examination. Brain injury, in addition, is commonly signed by dilated pupil and hence, you should consider the sleeping amount of those patients with concussion when they are developing this symptom. To conclude, unless the doctor says the person needs further examination, it is best to let the injured person sleep and rest.
If you are suffering from a concussion and have been permitted to sleep and rest by the doctor, it is advised to ask the nurse or anyone around to wake you up several times during the night to make sure that you are able to be aroused. In fact, this method is especially important to be done with young children.
Waking the patient up a couple of times during the night also gives us a chance to scrutinize how their symptoms grow and change. Hence, you are ready with initial treatments should you notice any worsening or intensified symptoms. However, with patients developing severe symptoms of concussion, doctors might give advices on whether or not they should be let fallen asleep and if not, for how long.
What not to do after a concussion
According to Mayo Clinic, a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that commonly occurs after a blow to the head. In order to decrease the symptoms and speed recovery, couple of things can be done:
- Avoid any activities and things that may increase your symptoms.
- Take sufficient rest and sleep at night. In most patients, light causes discomfort during a concussion, so that you might need to adjust your room light and reduce being outside the house in sunny noon.
- Do not overstimulate your brain. If you have to study or do things that require the brain to process new information, make sure you take sufficient breaks in between.
- Avoid driving within 48 hours after injury, as it may increase your risk of accidents.