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Missouri Sunset

Concussions are not confined to hits on the playing field

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Posted on February 22, 2020

A concussion can occur during almost any athletic activity, but we often associate this kind of head injury with football.

In 2017, the National Football League reported 281 concussion injuries, including those suffered in practice and preseason games. However, a car crash is more often the cause of this mild form of traumatic brain injury.

Understanding concussions

A concussion is a form of TBI that results from a bump or blow to the head. Car crashes are among the leading cause of concussions because the impact of a collision can cause your head to hit the steering wheel, windshield or dashboard. Symptoms of TBI, or even of a concussion, are not always immediately apparent. Headaches, dizziness or nausea are common symptoms, but victims may also experience a feeling of confusion, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or sound, depression, anxiety or memory problems.

Identifying the two forms of TBI

The open form of TBI occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. The much more common closed-form refers to the injury that results from a major bump. The impact of a car collision can cause the brain to move and connect with the inside of the skull, which, in turn, can result in bruising or bleeding. In more serious cases, nerve tissue can stretch or tear. If nerve cells within the brain become impaired, they may lose their ability to communicate with other brain cells, a situation that can cause a permanent reduction in cognitive function.

Knowing what to do

You may walk away from a minor vehicle collision thinking that you were lucky to escape injury. Your wisest course of action, however, is to seek prompt medical attention in case you have an underlying injury such as a concussion. You may not feel the effects for a few hours, even a few days, but an early diagnosis is essential for your well-being. Keep in mind that a doctor’s report also connects your injury directly to the car crash. This will be important information to present to the insurance agency when the time comes for you to file a claim for compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.