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:
- 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. Services are available on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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
Numbness or weakness in arms/legs
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.