What are the Long-Term Effects of a Concussion?

May 23, 2022

Concussions may be considered mild traumatic brain injuries, but the reality is that they can certainly have long-term repercussions. It only takes one quick Google search to look at how concussions have significantly affected former pro athletes. Here, we want to examine the possible long-term effects a person can incur after sustaining a concussion.

What is a Concussion?

Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that a concussion “is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.” Additionally, concussions can also be caused by a blow to the body or a fall that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Typically, doctors say that concussions are mild because individuals usually recover, and the symptoms are not typically life-threatening. However, concussions must be taken seriously.

Most individuals recover from a concussion after a few days or a week of rest and low stimulation. That said, repeated concussions, or the non-treatment of a serious concussion, can lead to a longer recovery and more severe symptoms. Some of the most common issues associated with repeated concussions and untreated severe concussions include:

  • Problems with concentration
  • Memory problems or memory loss
  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Possible issues with balance
  • Unsteady hands
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Issues with smell or taste

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain disease that has gained more and more attention over the last decade. Most commonly associated with professional athletes, in particular former football players, this is a disease that can unfortunately only be diagnosed after death. CTE has been linked with changes in the brain that affect how the brain operates, and most medical professionals have concluded that this brain disease is caused by repeated blows to the head over periods of time. Victims suffering from CTE typically have debilitating and life-changing effects, not only on themselves, but also their families.

The effects of CTE include the long-term concussion symptoms mentioned above as well as difficulty controlling impulses, erratic behavior, impaired judgment, depression, aggression, as well as issues with addiction to alcohol or other controlled substances.

Preventing Long-Term Concussion Symptoms

The most important aspect of preventing long-term concussion symptoms is ensuring that an individual is treated quickly after sustaining a concussion. Anytime a person sustains a bump or blow to the head or a significant jolt to the body, they need to seek medical treatment right away. By seeking immediate medical care and individual is taking steps to ensure their well-being, and they are allowing a doctor to conduct a more thorough examination. Yes, most concussions are easily treatable, but it is not uncommon for individuals to not seek medical treatment after a jolt to the head. Successive concussions that occur without allowing adequate recovery time could lead to compounding effects on the brain. Once the brain is already damaged, it is much more likely to sustain a severe injury if it has not had time to heal.

School systems and coaches must ensure that players are adequately evaluated and given time to recuperate before being allowed back on the field. Parents need to make sure that their children follow a doctor’s orders if their child sustains a concussion. If you or a loved one suffered a concussion due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation. Speak with an experienced Martinsburg injury lawyer to explore your legal options.


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