Although they are considered a “mild” type of traumatic brain injury, concussions are serious and should be treated as such. While some patients experience concussion symptoms almost immediately following a blow to the head, it can take hours or even days for them to appear. If an individual begins to experience nausea, vomiting, headache, light/sound sensitivity and/or trouble recalling information, they should seek medical attention right away. What is the importance of doing so, and how do doctors diagnose a concussion? Keep reading for answers to these commonly asked questions.
How Do Doctors Diagnose a Concussion?
There are several methods a physician may use in order to determine whether a patient has a concussion and, if so, what kind of treatment is needed. Here are a few possibilities:
- Cognitive testing – Concentration, memory and ability to recall information can all be affected by a concussion. Thus, concussion testing often includes a series of questions designed to assess whether these cognitive skills are intact.
- Neurological exam – A neurological exam may also be conducted to check for signs of a concussion. This will likely include an evaluation of the patient’s balance, hearing, coordination, vision, reflexes and strength/sensation.
- Brain imaging – If a patient’s symptoms are severe or worsening, brain imaging may be used to check whether the head injury has caused swelling or bleeding in the skull. It is common for doctors to order a cranial computerized tomography (CT) scan to evaluate the condition of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to identify complications or changes in the brain.
Ultimately, the answer to “how do doctors diagnose a concussion?” will vary depending on the type and severity of the symptoms a patient is exhibiting. In any case, prompt examination by a medical professional is crucial when one or more concussion symptoms are present. Seeking a diagnosis early on will allow the patient to receive treatment if necessary. In turn, it will prevent potential lasting impacts such as post concussion syndrome (PCS).
Dr. Gill Has Years of Experience in Evaluating & Treating Concussions
If you or a loved one is showing signs of a concussion, you can depend on Dr. Timothy Gill to provide an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan. When evaluating a possible head injury, he will ask questions about the accident and the symptoms which are present. Then, he will use a combination of the methods described above to make a diagnosis. Based on what he finds, he will recommend steps and precautions which should be taken to facilitate healing.
If you are concerned about a possible concussion, head injury expert Dr. Gill can typically see you in his office within 24 hours of the head injury. He also offers a weekly concussion clinic. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Gill, call our office at 610-375-4949. We are dedicated to helping our patients manage their concussion symptoms and get the treatment they need to make a full recovery.