What is a Concussion?
Our clinic welcomes athletes from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. To schedule an appointment with the Cottage Concussion Clinic, please call 805-696-7909.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.
You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion.
In rare cases, concussions cause more serious problems. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking. Because of the small chance of serious problems, it is important to contact our clinic if you or someone you know has symptoms of a concussion.
If you believe someone has suffered a concussion, please call the Cottage Concussion Clinic at 805-696-7909.
What should you do if you think you or someone else has a concussion?
- Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Remove the athlete from play and seek medical attention.
- Encourage them to rest. Rest is critical to helping an athlete recover. Exercise or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, and playing video games may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen. After a concussion, returning to sports and school is a gradual process that should be carefully managed and monitored by a health care professional.
- Keep the athlete out of play until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says she or he can return to play.
- There is no same day return to play.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
CALL 911 AND SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION if after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body, an athlete exhibits any of the following danger signs:
- Loss of consciousness - did the athlete pass out or get knocked out?
- Severe headache
- Decreased level of consciousness - can’t recognize people or places, looks very drowsy or cannot be awakened
- Seizure - uncontrolled jerking of arms or legs
- Neck pain with loss of movement
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Lack of balance or unsteadiness on feet
- Increased confusion or irritability
- Slurred speech
- Repeated vomiting
- One pupil larger than the other
- Drainage of blood or fluid from ears or nose
- Changes in vision
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Unusual or concerning behavior