How a second concussion can lead to serious health problems

Suffering a concussion can lead to serious complications, especially if a previous concussion has not properly healed. Continue reading to learn more.

Any time a person receives a blow to the head, they run the risk of suffering a concussion. This form of traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain collides with the interior of the skull, causing damage to brain tissue in the process. As you may know, concussions can range in severity, from the very mild to the near fatal.

As most medical sources agree, proper treatment of a brain injury should include a check up with a doctor as well as plenty of rest. Only a doctor can tell you when you are likely to recover fully and what symptoms to expect. By failing to get proper treatment, a patient suffering from a concussion may not know the danger they are in, particularly when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

How secondary impact concussions can affect you

From sports to work, slips and falls to car accidents, a person can receive a traumatic brain injury in many situations. Though suffering one concussion can be incredibly serious, suffering a second too soon after the first can be even more problematic. Serious health complications can arise, resulting in severe damage to the brain and a significant impact on a person's life.

It's believed by some that receiving a blow to the head even weeks after suffering a concussion can lead to further brain damage due to brain herniation and diffuse cerebral swelling. Referred to by some in the medical field as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS), the development of these health complications can be fatal if left untreated.

What is the risk of developing SIS after a secondary concussion?

According to a 2009 medical article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, the frequency in which SIS cases occur has been in question for a number of years due to a lack of international literature on the subject. What medical professionals do agree on is the fact that all concussions, regardless of their severity, should be taken seriously as they can have serious health consequences later on in life.

Repetitive concussions and the development of CTE

The public is becoming more aware of the impact multiple concussions can have on an individual thanks to research regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is another serious health condition that can develop after suffering repetitive concussions. Unlike SIS, where symptoms of the condition may present shortly after suffering a second concussion, CTE takes time to develop and may not be discovered until after a patient dies.