Concussion signs and symptoms

January 13, 2020


See the concussion signs and symptoms infographic:

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A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct blow or jostling to the head. Symptoms appear because this trauma causes a disturbance in brain function. Visit your primary care provider, sports medicine physician or urgent care to be checked and to talk about treatment before you return to sports or other activities. 

    Physical Symptoms

    • Headache or head pressure
    • Neck pain
    • Balance problems or dizziness
    • Blurry vision
    • Nausea
    • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
    • Hearing problems/ringing in ears

    Cognitive Symptoms

    • Trouble focusing
    • Feeling dazed and/or confused
    • Memory loss
    • Feeling slowed down or in a fog

    Emotional Symptoms

    • Increased emotions
    • Irritability
    • Sadness
    • Nervousness or anxiousness

    Sleep Symptoms

    • Drowsiness
    • Trouble falling asleep
    • Sleeping more than usual

    Emergency Symptoms

    Go straight to the emergency room or call 911 if you or someone you love has a head injury with the following symptoms, which may be caused by something more severe than a concussion (such as bleeding in the brain):

    • One pupil larger than the other
    • Drowsiness/unable to wake
    • Headache that is severe or worsens
    • Slurred speech
    • Weakness, numbness, decreased coordination
    • Repeated vomiting
    • Seizure
    • Loss of consciousness

    Keys to recovery

    • Do not return to activities or sports the same day, even if symptoms have resolved.
    • Do give yourself physical and mental rest:
      • Rest your brain as well as your body
      • Take light walks as you’re able
      • Avoid screen time, including texting, watching TV and playing video games
    • Gradually return to contact activities/sports under your physician’s guidance.
    • Take additional care to avoid repeated concussions.