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A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that disrupts normal brain function. Any hit to your head or body may can cause a concussion. When your brain is suddenly shook or jarred within your skull, the sudden movement can damage your brain cells and create chemical changes in your brain, resulting in concussion symptoms.
Concussion dangers are often linked to football, cheerleading, soccer and basketball but can result from auto accidents and falls. All concussions are serious, though not always life-threatening, and require quick treatment.
At the University of Maryland, our sports medicine physicians diagnose concussions using tests and programs specifically designed for concussion assessment.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Concussion symptoms may not appear immediately after the injury. It is very important to report any and all symptoms to your provider. Watch for symptoms like:
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Sleep disturbance
- Concentration problems
- Memory problems
It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a head injury. Your doctor will check your vision, balance, coordination, reflexes and memory as part of a concussion-specific test.
The main treatment for concussion is rest. Your doctor will recommend a routine for adults or children that may include:
- Resting your body by avoiding physical activities
- Resting your mind, which includes limiting school time and screen time
- Limiting pain medications to only those directed by a physician
- Avoiding alcohol or recreational drug use
- Eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of water
- Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep nightly
Concussion Recovery Time
Allowing time to recover fully is important to avoid the cumulative effects of repeated concussions.
Your doctor will tell you when it’s safe to return to work or sports and will initiate a return-to-play protocol to ensure you are ready to resume athletic activity.
Make an Appointment
To visit one of our sports medicine specialists, call 410-448-6400.