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A mild concussion may have long-term implications

Injuries such as broken bones, concussions, neck pain and disfigurement are common issues that result from a car crash. While their severity depends on many factors, those that are mild at first or that appear mild can have long-term implications.

Take concussions for example.

Short-term effects

A concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury. In the short term, you can expect to experience a few (or more) symptoms such as dizziness, loss of balance, loss of memory, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, fatigue, nausea and ringing in your ears.

In young children, symptoms may manifest themselves as excessive crying, changes in sleeping patterns, dazedness or unsteady walking, among others.

Long-term effects

The long-term effects of a concussion can include disturbed sleep, abnormal smell and taste ability, sensitivity to noise or light and memory and concentration issues. These symptoms often manifest early, and you may think they will just be short-term effects, but they linger and can get worse.

Fortunately, the majority of people who get concussions do not experience symptoms after six weeks. Those who are at higher risk of long-term effects include those with a history of concussions as well as people who may not be able to understand or communicate their symptoms fully. Young children are an example and so are people who face communication difficulties with medical personnel. For example, a concussion might not be diagnosed in someone who does not speak English and whose doctor uses a second-rate translator.

Of course, anyone can be at risk of experiencing the long-term effects of a concussion, and the direct effects can lead to deeper consequences such as depression, loss of socialization and not feeling like yourself. To give a straightforward example, chefs who prided themselves on their ability to smell and taste their creations could find themselves spiraling into depression and out of work when a concussion robs them of these sensory abilities.

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