Should I Go to Urgent Care for a Concussion?

Jan 17, 2024 | Urgent Care

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), anywhere from 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur every year. Approximately 5 out of 10 of those go unreported.
A type of traumatic brain injury, concussions result from a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and upper body. They often happen in contact sports like football, but can also be caused by slips, falls, car accidents, and other physical trauma. Recognizing the common signs of a concussion is essential, as swift treatment may be key to preventing long-term effects.
Common signs of a concussion include:
• Headache: A persistent and severe headache is a typical symptom of concussion.
• Confusion: Individuals suffering a blow to the head may feel disoriented, have trouble concentrating, or struggle to remember recent events.
• Nausea or Vomiting: Feeling queasy or throwing up after a head injury is a concerning sign. Emergency care may be necessary.
• Dizziness or Balance Issues: Problems with coordination or balance can sometimes occur after a head injury.
• Sensitivity to Light or Noise: Bright lights and loud sounds may worsen symptoms.
• Fatigue: Unusual tiredness or drowsiness can follow a concussion.
• Blurry Vision: Vision disturbances are common after head trauma.
Understanding the Impact
Concussions can have both short-term and long-term effects. In the short term, they may lead to temporary cognitive difficulties, mood changes, and sleep disturbances. However, the long-term consequences of untreated concussions can be far more severe, potentially causing chronic headaches, memory problems, and even cognitive impairments that impact daily life.
When Should You Go to Urgent Care for a Concussion?
Seeking prompt medical attention is crucial when you suspect you have a concussion. While not every head injury requires a trip to the emergency room, consulting an urgent care center like Quality First Urgent Care is always a wise choice for non-emergency cases. Our doctors will assess your condition, provide guidance on recovery, and monitor for any complications.
Urgent care may also be an appropriate choice when symptoms develop gradually. However, more severe symptoms should prompt an immediate trip to the Emergency Room. These include:
• Repeated vomiting
• A loss of consciousness
• Fluid from the ears or nose
• Enlarged pupils or pupils of unequal size
• Weakness in your limbs
• Severe confusion or dizziness
• Slurred speech
• A severe headache that is worsening
• Large bumps or bruising on your head (other than the forehead)
• Seizure
Head injuries like concussions are serious matters that should never be taken lightly. If you suspect you have a concussion and are experiencing mild symptoms, the doctors at Quality First Urgent Care can provide professional evaluation and guidance. Your health and safety should always be a top priority, during the holidays and any time of year.