Recognizing The Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

A concussion is an injury to the brain’s cells that causes a disturbance in normal brain function. Concussion can be caused by either getting hit directly on the head or by a hit to another part of the body that causes the head to accelerate forward or backward (like whiplash).

Most athletes who experience concussion will exhibit any one of more of a variety of symptoms. Loss of consciousness is not always present. Headache is the most common symptom, however all athletes will experience concussion differently. So, while one athlete may have a headache, another may not. Other signs and symptoms can include being nauseous, having poor balance or coordination, being dizzy, dazed or confused, and suffering from memory deficits. Headaches may linger, but so can not-so-obvious symptoms. These can include sensitivity to light or noise, emotional changes, sleep disturbances and personality changes. Often, the signs and symptoms of a concussion are not evident until several minutes to hours later. The severity of the symptoms will vary as will their duration.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

• Headache
• Nausea/Vomiting
• Blurry Vision
• Dizziness
•Sleeping More or Less Than Usual
•Feeling “In a Fog”
•Feeling “Slowed Down”
•Unusually Emotional
•Irritable, Nervous or Sad
•Loss of Consciousness
•Loss of Orientation
•Memory Problems
•Personality Changes
•Poor Balance/Coordination
•Ringing in the Ears
•Sensitivity to Light/Noise
•Glassy Eyes/Vacant Stares

Concussed athletes may experience one or more of any of these symptoms.