General health and seasonal – Aug 10, 2022
Why is my eye twitching?
Eye twitches and spasms might be annoying, but they’re usually harmless. They can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and having too much caffeine.
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Concussion is a short-term injury to the brain that tends to last for a few days or weeks. If you’ve had a bad bump to the head – or you’re with someone who’s had an accident – and are not feeling well, look out for concussion symptoms.
The majority of head injuries aren’t serious but knowing the red flag symptoms will help you know when to seek medical help for yourself or someone else.
Here are the typical signs of a concussion, that can also be delayed concussion symptoms. Mild concussion symptoms you may experience yourself:
Signs of concussion in someone else:
‘Symptoms of a concussion usually show after a few minutes or hours of getting a head injury,’ explains Dr Rhianna McCylmont.
‘I often get asked about how long concussion symptoms should last, but they can vary hugely from person to person. Some people may not get any post-concussive symptoms for a few days or even weeks – and so it’s important to keep an eye out for anything unusual soon after the head injury.’
If symptoms worsen a few hours after the initial head injury, there’s a risk that there’s a more serious brain injury so seek emergency medical assistance.
Call 999 if they:
Go to A&E if they:
Generally, the more severe the injury, the longer it takes to recover from a concussion. Most people recover within 2 weeks to 1 month. Some people take longer than average to recover, including older adults, those with prior concussion injuries and those with pre-existing neurological conditions
Delayed concussion symptoms include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, ringing in the ears or loss of concentration. If you’re not fully recovered after several weeks, you should see a doctor again to check for post-concussion syndrome.
Occasionally, concussion symptoms can cause some long-term problems. These side effects are known as post-concussion syndrome and include headaches, dizziness, memory problems, unsteadiness, depression, anxiety and unusual behaviour.
It’s best to speak to a GP if you still have post concussion symptoms after 3 months. They may be able to recommend treatment or can refer you to see a specialist.
Everyone’s recovery from a concussion will be slightly different, but there are several general stages most people experience.
1. Acute phase – this happens immediately after the concussion, doctors recommend injury rest for 24–72 hours. This means getting sufficient sleep and reducing all activity. Anyone who has suffered a head injury shouldn’t be left on their own for at least 48 hours after the incident
2. Gradual return to everyday life – engaging in vigorous exercise too quickly increases the risk of another brain injury. Try minimising screen time as much as possible and avoid driving anywhere.
You may experience symptoms during your recovery that don’t require medical help. These symptoms should resolve over time and include:
‘If a child or baby has had a minor head injury, I would always recommend speaking to a GP – or if the fall or knock was severe, take them to your nearest A&E to be checked for a concussion,’ says Dr McClymont.
‘Watch out for any strange behaviours, excessive tiredness, being sick or problems with their balance, appetite or movement,’ she says.
‘As it can be much harder to spot concussion symptoms in a child or baby than an adult, it’s best to get advice from a doctor straight away, rather than treat them at home.
Livi GPs may advise you to see a doctor face-to-face, rather than having a video appointment.
Having repeated knocks to the head or multiple concussions can then lead to more serious problems.
‘Although getting a head injury or severe concussion isn’t always avoidable, there are a few lifestyle choices and measures you can take to reduce your risk of a serious head injury,’ suggests Dr McClymont.
Speak to a doctor if you’re concerned about concussion symptoms or a head injury. Especially if:
Contact emergency services if you need urgent care.
This article has been medically approved by Livi Lead GP Dr Rhianna McClymont