While most concussions are considered to be mild, they are still considered a traumatic brain injury. They most often occur when someone hits or receives a blow or jolt to the head. When that happens, both the head and the brain can quickly move back and forth, potentially causing swelling and, in some instances, even bleeding in the brain. Most people recover fully after sustaining a concussion, but they can speed that recovery along by taking proper care of themselves.
The best thing a person can do while recovering from a concussion is to get lots of rest. They should try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night and take plenty of naps throughout the day.
Even if they feel as though they cannot take naps, they should not do anything too strenuous during the day. Many people will find it difficult to accomplish even regular tasks such as making dinner or creating a household budget. These should be avoided if possible when recovering from a concussion, as even these tedious or mundane tasks may put harmful stress on a recovering brain.
Returning to Work
Adults should not return to work right away after sustaining a concussion and children should not return to school in the days following a concussion. In fact, no regular activities should be resumed without a doctor’s recommendation. Even after returning to school or work, duties may have to be lightened until a person has fully recovered from their concussion.
Employers should be asked to assign an employee lighter work, and students may only be able to attend half-days of school until a doctor has completely cleared them from the concussion. Trying to take too much on, especially too soon, can greatly lengthen recovery time after a concussion.
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When recovering from a concussion, many people also feel that they become forgetful or easily distracted. To help with this, important things should be written down so they can be referred to later, and those recovering should focus on only one task at a time. Even having a conversation and watching television can be too much for some people, so it is important to only do one thing at a time.
Medication and alcohol should typically never be mixed together, but this is especially true for those recovering from concussions. In fact, no medication should be taken while recovering from a concussion unless it has been prescribed by a doctor.
Those recovering should also refrain from drinking alcohol until they have fully recovered. Alcohol can affect coordination and balance even more so while a person is suffering from a concussion. This may even lead to a person sustaining a second brain injury, which can worsen a concussion or add time to their recovery.
When someone sustains a concussion, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. While a doctor may be able to prescribe medication to treat related symptoms and pain, they could also advise patients on how to help themselves when recovering from a concussion at home. In most cases, much of that recovery will involve simply taking things slowly and resting both the brain and body until the brain has fully recovered.
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