Concussion Testing

Concussion Testing Woodstock GA

A concussion is a temporary change in brain function that occurs due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It can cause problems with thinking and mood, and it can take weeks to years to heal from a concussion. A concussion testing Woodstock GA is a type of noninvasive medical examination used to determine whether someone has had a concussion.

A concussion is a type of brain injury that can be caused by falls, high-impact sports, and other accidents. While they are technically mild injuries, concussions sometimes carry more serious risks, including:

  • loss of consciousness
  • spinal injuries
  • impaired motor skills

Since the symptoms of a concussion may vary, your doctor will likely order tests to determine whether your injury caused a concussion. You may also be able to conduct tests on your own at home while you are waiting for medical assistance.

Keep reading to learn more about concussion tests, as well as when to seek emergency help.

Why Are Concussion Tests Needed? 

A mild or moderate TBI can cause damage to the brain that isn’t detectable with brain imaging tests. Yet the damage can cause serious symptoms, including headaches, difficulty concentrating, emotional changes, and memory problems.

Furthermore, the effects of a concussion can be vague and hard to describe. Concussion testing can help identify and quantify these changes.

If you don’t have time to heal or if you experience further brain injuries while recovering from a concussion, the effects can be prolonged and worsen. That is one reason why concussion testing is crucial—if you or your child has had a concussion, it is important to get a diagnosis and follow medical recommendations to avoid further harm to the brain.

Getting a concussion diagnosis can help with setting expectations. Work colleagues, teachers, family, and even the person who experienced a concussion might not understand why a person is not feeling the way they normally feel or cannot do what they normally do.

Often, concussion testing can assess how the effects of a concussion are improving over time. As you improve, you’ll be able to participate in rehabilitation and follow your doctor’s instructions for gradually getting back to work, school, and other activities.

What Do Concussion Tests Measure?

Concussion tests can measure subtle aspects of brain function, such as visual or auditory (hearing) perception and response speed. These abilities can be impaired due to the damage of a concussion.

A TBI can also cause serious injuries, like a skull fracture, bruise, swelling, or bleeding in the brain. These types of injuries can be detected with imaging tests, and they may require surgical or other interventions.

Generally, brain damage from bleeding or swelling would cause focal neurological symptoms and signs, such as partial vision loss, numbness, and weakness.

Concussion testing Woodstock GA measures more subtle problems, like slow decision-making. You can have a concussion along with detectable brain injuries or in the absence of detectable brain injuries.

concussion testing Woodstock GA, assesses your brain function before and after a head trauma. The tests are done by a doctor or other health care professional with expertise in evaluating and treating people with concussions. They measure physical skills such as balance, and mental skills such as memory, concentration, how quickly you can think and solve problems, and your ability to pay attention.

Concussion testing is one of the tools doctors may use to evaluate and manage your health after a head injury. People who are at risk of concussion may need baseline tests. For instance, athletes may have these baseline tests at the beginning of the sports season. If you have a concussion test after a head injury, your doctor may compare your results to your test results before the head injury to look for changes.

concussion testing Woodstock GA, evaluates your brain’s processing and thinking (cognitive) function after a head injury. A baseline concussion test may be performed before a sports season starts for athletes at risk of head injuries.

A baseline concussion test shows how well your brain is currently functioning and may be useful in diagnosing a concussion after an injury. A doctor may perform the test by asking questions, or testing may be done via computer.

A baseline concussion test is often performed using a computer. The computerized test is similar to playing a video game. This test may be repeated often, especially in younger athletes (usually age 10 and older) whose brains develop and change over time.

Computerized baseline concussion testing offers a fast, efficient way for many athletes to test their baseline brain function. The testing takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Some athletes may need a baseline concussion test each year, with neuropsychological testing more often if they have had a concussion or have another medical condition.

After a concussion, testing may be repeated and compared to the previous test to look for any changes in your brain function. Concussion testing Woodstock GA can also be used as a guide to determine when the brain has recovered from a concussion.

Risks After A Concussion

If you continue to play or return to play too early after a concussion, there is a significant risk of another concussion. A second concussion sustained while the initial concussion is healing can result in fatal brain swelling (second impact syndrome).

Repeat concussions can take longer to heal. Also, repeat concussions have a higher risk of causing permanent nervous system (neurological) damage.

Children, teens, and female athletes may be at a higher risk of concussions than others, and their recovery may be longer.

Individuals who have had a concussion should not return to play or activities until all symptoms are gone and they have been seen by a doctor or other healthcare professional with expertise in evaluating and treating people with concussions.

After concussion symptoms resolve and prior to returning to a sport or activity, people with concussions need to participate in a gradually progressive concussion exertional protocol, which usually lasts five to six days.

Each day provides exercise that is progressively more challenging in exertion and intensity. Individuals must complete all levels without symptoms recurring to be cleared to return to sports and physical activity.

What To Expect After Concussion Testing

You may have another computerized concussion test after a concussion. Depending on your performance on the computerized test and comparison to baseline testing (if available), you may repeat the test several times for up to a few weeks.

You may have a physical examination and testing to check for problems with balance, which may indicate a concussion. The computerized or pencil-and-paper concussion tests check for problems with thinking and memory. You may be tested to determine how quickly you can answer a question or solve a problem, your ability to remember things, and how well you can concentrate and pay attention.

Concussion tests are one of the tools to help doctors determine when your brain function has returned to normal. Doctors may use this along with other tests to decide when you may be able to safely resume normal activities.

Concussion tests measure subtle changes in brain function, but they do not rule in or rule out a concussion. Your doctor would make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, physical examination, and your concussion test results.

For example, if you broke several bones and are taking powerful pain medications, your concussion test results can be abnormal even if you did not experience a concussion.

The results of your concussion testing Woodstock GA can be compared with your results prior to the head injury. Often, baseline testing is required for participation in certain sports leagues, both at the professional and amateur levels. A worsened score can be a sign that your head injury has impaired your brain function.

Sometimes concussion testing can be done within a few hours of the head trauma and then again a few days later.

If you did not have measurements taken prior to your head injury, your responses can be compared with the average results of people your age, although that type of comparison is not as reliable as a comparison with your own pre-injury results.

Returning to Play

If tests show that your brain function has returned to normal but you are still experiencing symptoms of your concussion, then doctors will advise you not to return to sports until your symptoms are gone. Although many concussions resolve quickly, some athletes may experience symptoms for weeks, months, or longer.

Doctors will also review your history and symptoms and perform a neurological examination to test your balance and other brain functions. If your concussion symptoms do not resolve, a doctor trained in brain and mental health conditions (neuropsychologist) may perform more-detailed testing to further assess changes in brain function.

Your treatment team will determine when you are able to return to sports, school, and other activities.

Evaluating the Injury and Determining the Next Steps

Concussion tests are primarily used for determining whether an individual’s symptoms after an injury have affected the brain.

Someone may exhibit the following signs during a concussion:

  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • coordination and balance issues
  • changes to the eyes, including movement and pupil size
  • loss of consciousness
  • vomiting
  • fluid loss from the nose or ears
  • headache
  • seizures
  • not remembering what happened

Babies and young children can also get concussions. They may exhibit the following:

  • drowsiness or fatigue
  • vomiting
  • reduced activity level
  • fluid loss from their ears or nose
  • irritability

Aside from the above symptoms, you may want to use a concussion testing Woodstock GA if you or someone you know:

  • has a serious fall
  • has a biking accident
  • sustains whiplash in a motor vehicle accident
  • is injured in a high-impact sport, such as soccer, football, or boxing

Concussion testing Woodstock GA may be useful for determining any next steps. For example, a loved one who exhibits confusion and difficulty walking after a fall may need further evaluation from a doctor.

Comas, loss of consciousness, and injuries to the back or neck may require emergency medical care.

When to See a Doctor or Seek Emergency Help

If you have had a head injury, get immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Change in consciousness
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness, especially on one side of your body
  • Difficulty with walking or balance
  • Trouble speaking or communicating

Call your doctor if you experience:

  • Headaches or neck soreness
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty with concentration or memory

It is important to see a doctor if you suspect someone has had a concussion. They can rule out any more serious brain damage.

Babies who sustain head injuries should be evaluated by a pediatrician. Take your baby to the hospital right away if they’re unconscious.

In the case of a coma, call 911 and seek emergency medical attention.

You may also need to seek emergency medical help if the concussion is accompanied by a spinal injury. In such cases, you should avoid trying to move the person’s back or neck and instead call an ambulance for help.

Conclusion

Concussion tests are done after a suspected head injury and may be done after diagnosis to assess how healing is progressing. They are noninvasive tests that measure brain functions that can be affected by a concussion. There are several different concussion tests that vary in how they are given and what they measure.

If you have had a head injury and think you might have had a concussion, you should get medical attention. Most of the time, people recover from a concussion, but it takes time. Concussion testing can help establish the extent of your injury and help assess your improvement as you are recovering.

While you’re recovering, you need to take care of yourself by getting enough rest, avoiding stress, avoiding another head injury, and possibly getting medical care for the physical and emotional effects of your concussion.

Concussion Testing Woodstock GA

If you or your loved one has had a head injury, visit Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc for high-quality, comprehensive concussion testing Woodstock GA. Call us today at (770) 926-9495 or contact us online to book your appointment.

Concussion Testing Woodstock GA

Concussion Testing Woodstock GA

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