Symptoms of a Concussion
First, you do not have to lose consciousness in order for an injury to be classified as a concussion. In order for a concussion to occur, there has to be shearing forces of the axons of the neurons in the brain which are the long connecting arms of the neurons.
When these get overstretched there is an impairment of how the information is processed. In a clinical sense this means there can be some short term memory loss, headaches and balance problems, to name a few.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not show up immediately.
Common symptoms after a concussive injury are headache, loss of memory (amnesia) and confusion.
Physical signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
Other signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
A witness may observe these signs and symptoms in the concussed person:
- Temporary loss of consciousness (though this doesn't always occur)
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Dazed appearance
- Forgetfulness, such as repeatedly asking the same question
You may have some symptoms of concussions immediately, and some can occur for days after the injury, such as:
- 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
There are also emergency symptoms to be on the lookout for.
If there is a rapid onset of any of the following symptoms, contact the emergency room immediately.
- Worsening headaches
- Focal neurologic signs
- Inability to be awakened
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Increasing confusion
- Numbness in extremities
- Neck pain
- Unusual behavior change
- Change in consciousness