How is confusion treated?
It can be very frightening if you or someone you know is experiencing confusion, so it is a good idea to speak to a doctor to get reassurance and treatment.
The cause of the confusion will dictate the treatment of it. The best way to get the right treatment is by speaking to a doctor. As soon as you recognise the symptoms, whether it is in yourself, or in a friend or loved one, get help.
Confusion caused by an underlying medical condition may require treatment before the confusion resolves. However, in some cases, such as dementia, which is more common in older people, the symptoms can be permanent, or could gradually get worse. The earlier you seek help, the better.
Any treatment plan that you receive will be tailored to your specific situation to make it as effective as possible.
What if the confusion comes on suddenly?
If the confusion comes on suddenly, take the person to the nearest hospital or call 999, especially if they are displaying other symptoms, such as their lips going blue, or weakness in one of their limbs or if they are unable to speak.
If the confusion has happened after a head injury, you, or the person injured will need urgent medical attention, so you should go, or take them, to hospital or call 999 as soon as possible.
If the person who is confused is diabetic, you should check their blood sugar level if you can. Hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia could be making them confused.
They should have a testing device with them – prick their finger to get some blood and drop it onto a testing strip.
If their blood sugar levels are low, give them something sugary – a drink, sweets or snack – and wait 10 minutes before testing again. If they don’t improve, take them to hospital or call 999.
If their blood sugar is high, take them to hospital or call 999.
You can find the target blood sugar levels here.
When to see a doctor about confusion
The treatment used to help alleviate the symptoms of confusion will depend on the underlying cause.
Confusion can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, so it’s always a good idea to get a checkup, even if you think your symptoms are mild. Likewise, if you notice that someone you know is getting confused, get in touch with a medical professional so they can be checked over.
If the confusion is caused by dehydration, lack of sleep or nutritional imbalances, the doctor can recommend ways to overcome these, often quite easily. Simple imbalances in a body system can be adjusted with dietary changes or amendments to existing medications that you may be taking.
How do I know if it’s confusion?
Confusion can show itself through many different symptoms. Some of which include:
- Forgetting what task is being performed
- An inability to think clearly
- Feeling disorientated
- Long pauses between speech
- Slurred words
- Not being able to remember things
- Lack of awareness
If you notice this behaviour in yourself or someone you know, speak to a doctor.
What happens if confusion is left untreated?
Left untreated, the confusion could get worse, or lead to further complications.
If it is being caused by another medical condition, it’s important this is diagnosed as soon as possible.
Even if you think the symptoms are mild, if you don’t know what’s causing the confusion, seek medical advice. Delaying treatment could lead to further physical or mental health issues.
How can Push Doctor help?
With Push Doctor, you can see a GP online in minutes. Speak face-to-face through video consultation and get the help and reassurance you need.
Our doctors will use their experience to find out as much as they can about the confusion and recommend the next steps. They can refer you to a specialist for further investigation if required and arrange blood and urine tests that you can perform yourself in the comfort of your own home or at a nearby clinic if you prefer.