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Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion

A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

You cannot see a concussion. Signs and symptoms may appear immediately following the injury or may not be noticed until days or longer after the injury.

 Observable Signs of a Concussion

  • Appears to be dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignments or position
  • Forgets instruction such as sports plays
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Cannot recall events PRIOR to hit or fall (retrograde amnesia)
  • Cannot recall event AFTER hit or fall (anterograde amnesia)

Symptoms Reported by the Athlete

  • Headache or pressure in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, groggy or slowed down
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Generally does "not feel right" or is "feeling down"

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention at an Emergency Room

If a concussion has occurred, be observant for the following signs.  If any of the signs with an asterisk (*) are observed, seek medical attention at the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

  • Headache that increases in intensity*
  • Nausea or vomiting*
  • Difference in pupil size from left eye to right eye or dilated pupils*
  • Blurred or double vision*
  • Slurred speech*
  • Noticeable changes in level of consciousness (difficulty awakening or sudden loss of consciousness)*
  • Seizures*
  • Decreased or irregular pulse or breathing*
  • Mental confusion or behavior changes
  • Dizziness
  • Memory Loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Changes in gait or balance

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