Note: While this quiz will give you some insight into your current conditions, your results are only as good as your answers. It is not a substitute for seeing a doctor and is not official medical advice. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, feel free to use this quiz as a starting point to determine if you need further care. Also note that, while we may record your responses, it is not linked with any personally-identifying information.
What to Do If You Have a Concussion
If you think you have a concussion (aka mild traumatic brain injury), it can be helpful to have it diagnosed, but it is not always necessary to visit a doctor. When in doubt, see a medical professional. Many doctors still treat concussions by prescribing rest in a dark room with no stimulation (i.e., no video games, no visitors, etc.).
Unfortunately, that practice (known as “cocooning”) is not the best way to recover from a concussion. We now know that light activity, in addition to rest, sleep, and good nutrition, is extremely beneficial for restored brain function.
Because some people experience symptoms such as blurry vision, nausea, lightheadedness, balance problems, headaches while exercising, and so forth, exercise after a concussion can be difficult.
If you live in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area and would like help actively recovering from your concussion, we recommend visiting Neural Effects for more information. If you are not in our area, here’s some advice on exercising after a concussion and some general information on how to treat a concussion. You can also visit this post on how to identify a good concussion treatment clinic.
Signs of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
If you experience any of the symptoms below after a head injury, seek medical attention. You may have to go to the emergency room to receive treatment. Your doctor may order an MRI, CT scan, or other neuroimaging scans to confirm whether you have sustained more serious brain damage.
- Convulsions or seizures
- Excessive drowsiness or inability to awaken
- Inability to recognize certain people or places (that you normally would easily recognize)
- Loss of consciousness
- One pupil larger than the other
- Persistent confusion, restlessness, or agitation
- Strongly unusual behavior (such as impulsive or dangerous decision-making, making odd or illogical statements, drunken appearance, etc.).
Young children may show their symptoms differently. If they experienced head trauma and display any of the symptoms above, won’t stop crying, or obstinately refuse food, seek a health care professional immediately.
How Do I Know if I Have a Concussion?
If you’re still unsure whether you’ve had a concussion, see this post on how to know if you’ve had a concussion. It includes information on concussion myths, diagnosis information, and other need-to-know facts about concussions. You can also read more about the symptoms of concussion in another post.
Just know that if you are unsure and want a definitive answer, you should visit a health care provider.
What If My Post-Concussion Symptoms Aren’t Going Away?
For at least 10-20% of concussion patients, some concussion symptoms will linger for months or even years after the injury. When that happens, the symptoms typically won’t go away without further treatment.
Fortunately, post-concussion syndrome can be treated. You can learn all about post-concussion syndrome (and how we approach its treatment) here.
If you’ve recently had a concussion, take care of yourself. Most symptoms of a concussion heal with both time and a gradual return to cognitive and physical activity. Don’t return to sports (especially contact sports) or put your brain at risk until you are fully healed. A concussion can become a more serious brain injury if you hit your head again without healing first.
If it’s been three months since your injury and you’re still hurting from post-concussion symptoms, we can help. Contact us for a consultation to learn more about your options.