How to Treat a Mild Concussion

How to Treat a Mild Concussion

Precio Daramola |Mar 22, 2021

Learning About Mild Concussion Treatment

Research shows that concussions are often associated with people involved in sports. Most people involved in high-contact or high-risk sports are known to suffer from concussions and brain injuries due to regular head impact. In this article we will discuss mild concussion treatment options, as well as the possible causes.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion refers to a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may occur after a blow to your head. It can also happen after a whiplash-type injury that causes your head and brain to shake quickly back and forth. It may result in temporary loss of normal brain function or an altered mental state that may include unconsciousness.

What Are the Causes of a Concussion?

The brain is made of soft tissue, therefore specific head impacts from falling, getting hit, or being in an accident can cause the brain to move around in your head. Concussions are caused by such direct trauma to the head. When this occurs, it may lead to bleeding, damage to the blood vessels, and injury to the nerves.

Concussions do not always involve passing out or a loss of consciousness. In many cases, people with a concussion never lose consciousness. In several cases, external signs of head trauma, such as bleeding, may also be absent. You should see a doctor immediately if you experience direct trauma to your head.

As earlier mentioned, people who participate in high-impact sports such as football or boxing have an increased risk of getting a concussion. Although concussions are not usually life-threatening, they may result in serious symptoms that require medical treatment.

Common Symptoms of Concussions

Symptoms may vary from person to person and usually depend on the severity of the injury and the person injured. A concussion can affect memory, judgment, speech, balance, reflexes, and muscle coordination. People with concussions often suffer from a brief period of amnesia or forgetfulness; this means they cannot remember what happened immediately before or after the injury. The most common signs of a concussion may include:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Double vision or blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Drowsiness or feeling sluggish
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Slowed reaction to stimuli

The symptoms may begin immediately, or they may not develop for hours, days, weeks, or sometimes even months following the injury. The following symptoms can also occur during the recovery period after a concussion:

  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mild headaches

When to See a Doctor

Although some concussions are less serious than others, experts advise that mild concussions should not be taken lightly. Most people may recover quickly following a concussion, while some can have symptoms lasting for several weeks. You should, however, seek urgent medical attention if:

  • You keep having persistent headaches
  • You experience slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • You suffer from incessant nausea or repeated vomiting
  • You have seizures
  • You experience any loss of consciousness
  • Your symptoms keep worsening
  • You have a history of multiple concussions

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Concussions

Due to hidden symptoms in some cases, concussions may sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after the injury. Some symptoms may last for only a few seconds after the impact, while others may linger. Whatever the case, it is important to see a doctor to get diagnosed early and take the proper steps to treat the injury.

Mild concussion treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. In severe cases that involve bleeding in the brain, swelling of the brain, or a serious injury to the brain, you might need surgery or other medical procedures.

However, most concussions do not require surgery or any major medical treatment. The doctor may only give self-care instructions to follow. For mild concussions, some of these helpful instructions include:

  • Take time to rest. You need to stop whatever caused the concussion immediately because resting is key. If you resume the activity too soon, you risk a greater chance of having a second concussion, which can worsen the damage. You have to rest for your brain to heal properly.
  • Avoid repeat concussions. Successive concussions can have severe consequences such as brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disabilities, or even death.
  • Use medicine as prescribed. Treat pain with aspirin-free medications as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Revisit your doctor. If the symptoms do not stop, please go back to the doctor.

Safety Precautions that Help to Avoid Concussions

A concussion is often difficult to prevent because it happens unexpectedly. However, there are safety precautions you can follow to lessen the possibility of a traumatic brain injury:

  • When participating in high-contact or high-risk sports, wear protective equipment, as they increase the likelihood of a concussion. You can wear a helmet, headgear, padding, mouth guards, and eye guards to help safeguard against traumatic head injuries.
  • Drive and ride smart by always wearing your seat belt, avoiding excess speed, and never driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Remove hazards in the home that may contribute to falls, e.g., installing window guards and blocking stairways.
  • Avoid fights. Concussions are often sustained during an assault, and more men than women report traumatic head injuries.
  • Exercise regularly to help you keep fit and maintain a better balance. It can give you stronger leg muscles and better balance, which can help prevent falls.
  • Look out for other important safety precautions as the need arises.

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7 Benefits of Using an IUD

Elizabeth DiCesare | March 22, 2021

IUD Benefits to Consider IUDs are becoming a popular birth control option. In this article we look at seven IUD benefits, and discuss the different options. Talk to your doctor or a medical health professional, or visit a Planned Parenthood, for more information on getting a prescription. 1. Preventing Pregnancy IUDs are over 99% effective when it comes to preventing pregnancy. For people who don’t want an unexpected pregnancy, that is much more effective than the pill, which is 99% effective only when taken properly. The pill must be taken at the same time each day, which might be difficult for some people. IUDs, however, just need to be inserted and then they automatically do their job. 2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind Unlike prescriptions that need to be refilled every month, IUDs only need to be inserted once and then they are good for 3 to 10 years (depending on what type you get). They are incredibly convenient; all the user needs to do is check the strings to make sure it is still placed properly and call their doctor if they think it isn’t. Not having to think about taking a pill every day or buying new condoms when you are running low makes things easier and less stressful when it comes to your sexual and reproductive health. 3. No More Periods One of the side effects of using an IUD is the potential to stop menstruating. While this can be startling at first, it is completely normal. It’s common for hormonal IUDs to completely stop periods or lessen the flow. For many people, this is a welcome change. Other side effects related to periods include less severe cramps and minimal bloating. 4. Non-Hormonal Options Many people don’t want to be on hormonal birth control for several reasons. Luckily, there are non-hormonal IUDs as well. Paragard is a copper IUD that works in a similar way and is a great alternative to hormonal birth control options. However, you should confirm with your doctor that you don’t have a copper allergy before moving forward with this option. 5. Emergency Contraception Another bonus use of copper IUDs is that they can act as a method of emergency contraception. Having one inserted within five days of having unprotected sex is 99% effective at stopping an unwanted pregnancy. This is a great option for those who cannot access Plan B, and then they can be left in afterwards as well for future protection. [youmaylike] 6. Cost Effective Being on the pill means paying for a prescription every month. This adds up, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover the cost, and even more so if you have to pay for a doctor’s appointment. While IUDs can have a big up-front cost, they are more cost effective over time. You pay only once and then enjoy the benefits over the next few years. Some options are covered by insurance, and there are social service programs that can also help people access cheaper options. 7. Easily Reversible If you decide you are ready for children, you can easily get your IUD removed. Once you book an appointment and it is taken out, your body will be fertile again. You don’t have to worry about infertility, as there is no waiting period; once it is out of your uterus, you can start trying to get pregnant. Types of IUDs As we mentioned previously, there are hormonal and copper IUDs. Both options prevent pregnancy, but there are some differences when it comes to how long they can be used for. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about what option would be best for you. Hormonal IUDs Mirena can be used for up to five years and is a popular option for people who have already given birth. Kyleena can be used for up to five years and has lower hormone levels than other options. Skyla can be used for up to three years and is smaller than other options, which makes it easier to insert. Liletta can be used for up to six years and can be used whether or not you have given birth. Copper IUD Paragard can be used for up to 10 years and is the only non-hormonal IUD currently on the market. Side Effects of IUDs While there are many benefits to using an IUD, there are side effects users should be aware of too. Many are like the side effects experienced with other types of birth control. Inconsistent bleeding and/or irregular periods. Acne. Breast tenderness. Pelvic pain and/or cramps. Perforation. This happens if your IUD moves and pokes through your uterus or cervix. If you are experience negative side effects or think there is an issue with your IUD’s placement, speak to your doctor or a healthcare professional.

3 Common Seizure Triggers

Pamela Bandelaria | March 22, 2021

What Triggers Seizures? Seizures are one of the most well-documented symptoms everyone is familiar with. It is one of the symptoms commonly shown in movies and shows and the most common acute neurologic problem in the U.S. Data shows that around 1 in 10 people will have a seizure not caused by an injury, such as a concussion, illness, or infection. This might make you ask, “What triggers seizures?” First, you need to understand that recurrent seizures, also known as epilepsy, is the third most common serious neurologic disorder and occurs in 1 in 26 people. Around 3.4 million Americans live with this condition. Although many people know what a seizure is, not everyone knows what to do when it happens, and even fewer know that some seizures can be anticipated or preempted. Knowing when a seizure will occur is important to prepare appropriately, and in some cases, even prevent seizures from happening. This article will discuss what a seizure is, what the symptoms of a seizure are and what triggers seizures. What is a Seizure? The brain, comprising of nerve cells, communicates and functions by transmitting electrical activity from one nerve cell to another. This is how we are able to think, move and feel. When there is a disruption in electrical activity, this can affect our thoughts, feelings and movements. A seizure is an uncontrolled surge of electrical activity by the brain, which leads to changes in consciousness and involuntary movement of our muscles. Seizures not only disrupt electrical activity but also disrupt oxygen transport and delivery. This is why, even though seizures usually resolve on their own, the aim is to prevent them from happening. Repeated seizures and seizures that occur for a prolonged period of time can lead to irreversible complications. The brain is one of the organs that continuously needs oxygen, and permanent brain damage can be observed in just minutes without an adequate oxygen supply. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening. Seizure Symptoms Seizures may present in various ways. The classic presentation of a person experiencing a seizure includes: Eyes that are rolled upward. Arms and legs exhibiting stiffening or jerking movements. This is due to the disruption in brain activity, which affects the muscles of the body. Sitting still and staring. Small, twitching movements in the fingers or face. A sudden stop in breathing or changes in breathing patterns. Loss of bowel and bladder control, which can lead someone to soiling themselves. What Triggers a Seizure? Once a seizure begins, there is little that can be done except wait for the seizure to cease or take the person to a nearest health facility. However, some seizures are more likely to occur under certain circumstances, wherein a pattern can be noted. In some cases, these situations can trigger a seizure, with increased chances of it happening. For people who have recurrent seizures, identifying these seizure triggers is helpful in seeing if a seizure might possibly happen and when these factors are removed, can the seizure be prevented. The following section discusses some common seizure triggers. 1. Stress Although there are still debates as to whether or not stress can really trigger seizures, it is one of the most common factors perceived by people who experience recurrent seizures. Studies show that during periods of stress, there is an increase in the frequency of seizures experienced by patients with epilepsy. It is hypothesized that it can be due to the release of cortisol, which has excitatory properties that can further contribute to the occurrence of seizures. [youmaylike] 2. Sleep Problems Sleep problems have also been considered as another seizure trigger. Lack of sleep and disrupted sleep were found to contribute to occurrence of seizures, even in the absence of other triggers or factors. Poor quality of sleep has also been perceived by patients to trigger some seizures, although data is not as strong compared to quantity of sleep. Sleep deprivation as a seizure trigger is due to its effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Some studies show that treatment of sleep problems also results in fewer occurrences of seizures. 3. Flashing Lights and Bright Lights Exposure to bright lights or flashes of light can also cause seizures. This occurs in around 3% of people with epilepsy. This kind of epilepsy is called photosensitive epilepsy. Examples of light sources that can trigger seizures include: Light from television screens or computer monitors. Strobe lights. Flashing lights in vehicles. Natural light or sunlight. Avoiding these can be helpful in reducing the occurrence of seizures in susceptible patients. When seeing a seizure, it can look scary at first. Most people panic when they see someone experiencing a seizure episode. However, knowing how to deal with this medical situation and knowing how to identify seizure triggers can be extremely helpful and lifesaving.

How Cystic Fibrosis Affects Adults

Pamela Bandelaria | March 22, 2021

Cystic Fibrosis in Adults One of the most common autosomal recessive diseases is cystic fibrosis (CF). It occurs in 1 in 2,500 to 3,500 newborns. Does this illness sound familiar? If it does not, do not worry. In this article, you will learn about cystic fibrosis in adults, including symptoms and how it affects different organs in the body. What is Cystic Fibrosis? Cystic fibrosis is an inheritable disease. In order for the disease to manifest, two copies of the abnormal gene must be present. Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene (a gene that encodes a chloride channel) causes problems in the CFTR protein, which leads to imbalances in the salt and water inside the cell. This imbalance leads to the body producing thick and sticky mucus. Mucus is ideally fluid and runny so that it can act as a lubricant in the body, but for people with CF it tends to clog tubes, putting you at risk of other health concerns. Cystic fibrosis is also a multi-organ disease, as its effects are seen in different organs, such as the lungs, pancreas and the other gastrointestinal organs, the sinuses and sweat glands. 1. Symptoms in Lungs Mucus in the lungs normally helps in the lubrication and trapping of foreign substances and microorganisms. The increased viscosity of mucus brought about by cystic fibrosis leads to mucus plugging of the bronchial passages and small airway ducts. This leads to obstructive lung disease and inflammation. It also provides a good habitat for the growth of bacteria, leading to pulmonary infection. Because of its effect on the lungs, people with this condition have significant respiratory problems leading to extreme difficulty in breathing over time. 2. Symptoms in the Gastrointestinal System Normally, the pancreas secretes enzymes that empty into the small intestine to help with the digestion of food. For patients with cystic fibrosis, this is impaired because the thick mucus secretion blocks and clogs the pancreatic ducts, leading to pancreatic insufficiency. The release of pancreatic enzymes for digestion is compromised too. The impairment due to cystic fibrosis causes greasy stools and difficulty of absorption of nutrients, especially the fat-soluble ones (vitamins A, D, E and K). Not only that, but because the pancreatic enzymes are not released, it results in inflammation within the pancreas which can lead to destruction of pancreatic tissue and eventually pancreatic failure. Further damage of the pancreas can lead to complications that are similar to type 1 diabetes mellitus. Duct obstruction also affects the gallbladder and liver, leading to liver cirrhosis and gallbladder disease, with an increased risk of gallstone formation. 3. Symptoms in the Sinuses and Sweat Glands Obstruction in the sinus passages leads to increased inflammation. Cilia, which are hair-like structures that line the sinus passageways, are impaired. Cilia are part of the respiratory system’s defense and trap potentially-harmful substances, including bacteria that can lead to increased bacterial growth and sinusitis. Dysfunction also occurs in the sweat glands, and it causes the sweat in skin to have a higher salt concentration. In severe cases, this can lead to dehydration. [youmaylike] How is It Treated? Cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed at birth through newborn screening tests. Because it can be detected early, treatment can also be started early and optimized. Treatment is also multi-factorial and patients are usually managed by a team of specialists. The main goal in the treatment of cystic fibrosis is to ensure that all the organs affected by the disease are not damaged and function optimally for as long as possible. Because cystic fibrosis has a significant impact on the lungs, one of the goals of treatment is to maintain lung function and avoid further impairment by controlling infection and inflammation. Antibiotics are given to control infection and adequate oxygenation is provided by bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory medications are given to control inflammation. If there are signs of respiratory distress, oxygenation and breathing are supported by using devices such as nasal cannulas or a bilevel positive airway pressure. Nutritional support is also important as malabsorption of important nutrients can lead to poor weight gain and weaker immunity. By addressing all these concerns, treatment is not only multi-factorial, but also holistic. In Conclusion While many people believe CF is limited to the lungs, this is not true. Cystic fibrosis in adults can occur in other areas of the body, affecting the sinus cavities and digestive tract. If you believe you are at risk, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.