Any one or more of the following symptoms accompanied by a trauma to the head may indicate concussion:
- appearing dazed or stunned
- possible loss of consciousness
- nausea or vomiting
- balance problems
- behavior or personality changes
- concentration or memory problems
- inability to recall events before or after the hit or fall
- double or blurred vision
- ringing in the ears
- light sensitivity
- change in eating or sleeping patterns
- incoherent or slurred speech
The signs and symptoms of concussion can appear quickly after the injury takes place, but usually subside within a few days or weeks. The amount and type of concussion symptoms a person can have varies greatly on their specific injury. Although loss of consciousness can occur with head trauma, it is not a necessary symptom in order to diagnose a person with a concussion.
Symptoms of concussion usually go away entirely within three weeks. However, some patients may experience prolonged concussion symptoms or complications. Repeated concussions can cause extensive and permanent brain damage.
What should you do if you think you have a concussion?
Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for you to return to normal activity.
Concussion symptoms in children
Due to their increased levels of activity, concussions in children, especially those who play sports, can be far more common than those in adults. It is important to understand the concussion symptoms in children in order to recognize if your child is suffering from a concussion. If your child experiences any of the listed symptoms, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.
If your child is found to have a concussion, no matter how small, keep your child out of play. They should avoid rough play with friends, sports and other physical activities until released by their doctor. Concussions in children take time to heal and children who return to play too soon while the brain is still healing risk a greater chance having a second concussion.
Two or more concussions in children can be very serious and cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for life.
Tell your child's coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in any sport, not just their own. Your child's coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell them. Make sure your child's coach strictly adheres to any doctor's orders about recovery.