11 concussion signs and how to get treatment at the health center

Concussions can happen in many situations, including car accidents
Concussions can happen in many situations, including car accidents

No one plans to get a concussion, but they can happen anytime, anywhere – whether it’s a car accident, a sports-related injury, a fall down the stairs or something else.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, and most people recover if they get good care after a concussion. Students have access to the University Health Center Concussion Clinic if they need help diagnosing a concussion and treating symptoms.

The first step is to know the signs of a concussion. Here are 11 symptoms to watch for after a head injury:
- Headache
- Dizziness
- Confusion
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light/noise
- Not feeling right or in a fog
- Memory loss right around when the impact happened
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Looking dazed or stunned
- Behavior and mood changes

These symptoms can be immediate or delayed. Each person will experience them differently. If you suspect you have a concussion, call 402.472.5000 to schedule an appointment with the Concussion Clinic on campus, staffed by Neuropsychologist Kate Higgins, PsyD.

Most concussions do not require a trip to the emergency room. However, if you experience these red flags of a more serious injury, skip the health center and go straight to the hospital:
- Loss of consciousness
- Headache that persists or gets worse
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Numbness or weakness in arms/legs
- Unusual behavior
- Inability to recognize people or places
- Inability to be awakened

Will a concussion heal itself? Yes

The brain is good at healing itself after a concussion. It takes roughly two to four weeks to recover in most circumstances. There is no magic recipe that can create a faster recovery, but there are several things Dr. Higgins recommends to help you get back on your feet after a head injury:
- Light exercise, without putting yourself at risk of another hit to the head
- Get enough sleep, which is critical to the healing process
- Occupational or physical therapy to retrain systems in the brain
- Reduce the amount of cognitive work in school or at your job
- Let a doctor know if you are feeling any symptoms of anxiety or depression after an incident

Learn more at https://health.unl.edu/concussion-clinic.