Without proper care, those concussion symptoms may cause older adults — even those who with active, vibrant lifestyles — to “hide away,” which can lead to isolation and a sharp decrease in social and physical activity. “Quality of life in the elderly can decline without proper treatment of a concussion.
A healthy 17- or 18-year-old may see a return to baseline within seven to 10 days after a concussion. An older adult may expect to return to normal in one to three months. But that’s just a metric. It depends on the person, and every person is different.
An important part of treatment for a concussion is getting plenty of rest, both sleep at night and naps or rest breaks during the day if needed. Your doctor will probably tell you to avoid certain physical activities and sports while you recover and may suggest medicine to take if you have a headache.
In most people, symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months. Sometimes, they can persist for a year or more.
These changes may include: memory problems, difficulty concentrating, foggy thinking, anxiety, depression, or mood swings. Other possible symptoms of a concussion include: dizziness, headaches, nausea, balance problems, sensitivity to light or noise, and sleep problems.
There are three grades: Grade 1: Mild, with symptoms that last less than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness. Grade 2: Moderate, with symptoms that last longer than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness. Grade 3: Severe, in which the person loses consciousness, sometimes for just a few seconds.
Common cognitive symptoms of a concussion include difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, and remembering new information. Physical symptoms include nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and/or noise, balance issues, and fatigue.
A: Concussion left untreated can lead to long-term complications. Potential complications of a concussion include chronic headaches, memory problems, vertigo, and post-concussion syndrome, which is headaches, dizziness, mood swings, and brain fog that can continue for months or years after a concussion.
Should I Go to the Hospital for a Concussion? In general, any head injury associated with loss of consciousness, seizures, prolonged confusion or amnesia, neck pain, vomiting or numbness or weakness in arms or legs should be transported to the emergency room in an ambulance right away.
You may need to be hospitalized overnight for observation after a concussion. If your doctor agrees that you may be observed at home, someone should stay with you and check on you for at least 24 hours to ensure that your symptoms aren’t worsening.
Medical experts once warned that people should stay awake if they had a concussion. They based this advice on the theory that sleeping with a concussion could cause a person to fall into a coma or even die. However, medical experts now agree that it is safe for a person to sleep if they have a concussion.
An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury. Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities.
Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:
“For some people, the symptoms after a concussion may not become apparent until later in the day,” says Beth Kolar, advanced clinician at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Main Line Health, who explains that delayed concussion symptoms may present 24 to 48 hours after and injury.