What is a concussion?

September 04, 2014

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. As many as 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech

Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury:

  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell

Danger signs for parents

Be alert for symptoms that worsen over time. Your child or teen should be seen in an Emergency Department right away if s/he has:

  • One pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other
  • Difficult to arouse
  • Severe headache or worsening headache
  • Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Difficulty recognizing people or places
  • Increasing confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Unusual behavior
  • Loss of consciousness (even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously).

View and print a flier about concussions



Leave a Comment

Comments (0)


Leave a Comment

Name
Email
Comments
Enter the Letters and/or Numbers Below
Captcha

Speaking of Health

Expert guidance and advice.

Online Resource Center

Focusing on specific health conditions to give you the information you need to participate in your care.