If you become concussed, there are a lot of immediate symptoms of this condition which can compromise your ability to enjoy life as usual. While these short term effects might fade away fairly quickly, it can still take quite a while to fully recover and get back to normal.
So how long can you expect it to take to recover from a concussion and what are the variables involved that you need to consider?
What to look out for
Before you can calculate your recovery time with any accuracy, you need to work out whether or not you have a concussion in the first place.
Some signs that you are suffering from a concussion include a persistent headache that does not respond to off-the-shelf pain medicine, a feeling of nausea, short term memory loss, balance issues, uncharacteristic behaviour and blurred vision.
It is also worth keeping an eye out for post concussion syndrome symptoms, which could indicate that your concussion is likely to have a longer recovery period.
Getting a diagnosis
To avoid any ambiguity, and if you are suffering from the more extreme symptoms of a concussion following a head injury, you should seek out the advice of a qualified physician. This will let you get a definitive diagnosis and also receive guidance as to which type of treatment you need, if any.
For most mild concussions, there are only a few things you need to do to aid your recovery, including getting lots of rest, steering clear of alcohol and avoiding any kind of participation in contact sports for a minimum of a month following the incident.
If you are lucky, your symptoms will ease up in a few days and you should be feeling normal again within two weeks. If this deadline comes and goes and you are still being troubled by the effects of your concussion, it will be sensible to seek professional medical aid once again.
Dealing with longer term issues
It is worth noting that sometimes a concussion can last for a lot longer, with recovery taking months or potentially even years. One reason for this may be the inability to carry out common forms of treatment if you have some other medical issues that get in the way of this, although there are lots of other factors involved.
It is also possible that some symptoms of your concussion can exacerbate others, creating a cumulative effect of disruption to your physical and mental health.
Up to 30 percent of people who suffer from a concussion will fall into this group of patients that suffer symptoms in the long term, although since every individual is unique it is difficult to put a definitive schedule on the recovery process without knowing more about your medical history.
Ultimately you need to pay close attention to your concussion and be willing to ask for help and support from those around when you need it to have the best chance of recovering swiftly.