SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to learn about the signs of brain injury, and educate about the resources available.
According to biausa.org, a total of 2.8 million people experience a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States. An expert says the most common form of brain injury is a concussion, it’s a brain injury that can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. “In general, it’s the mildest form of a brain injury, often it involves no loss of consciousness or a very brief loss of consciousness,” said Dr. Barry M. Rodstein, MD, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (physiatrist).
The CDC indicates that a concussion happens when there is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that causes the head and brain to move rapidly. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce and even twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain, sometimes damaging brain cells.
Leading causes of concussion include falls, motor vehicle-related injuries, and playing sports. In fact, falls account for nearly half of all concussions, according to health experts. One study found that nearly 300,000 concussions were sports-related each year, that same study also found that 5 in 10 concussions go unreported or undetected.
“The main concern is that if you had a concussion your coordination might be impaired, your balance might be impaired,” explained Dr. Rodstein. “If you go back to sports too early you might have a second concussion and sometimes those can be a little harder to recover from.”
Dr. Rodstein says that most people who have a concussion will recover fairly quickly. However, he says to look out for the signs of it like headaches, vision issues, sensitivity to noise and light, and nausea, and get medical help as soon as possible.
When it comes to toddlers and infants, some signs of concussion include inconsolable crying and refusing to nurse or eat.