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Essential Facts



What is a concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a “bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This rapid movement causes the brain to bounce around in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.” A concussion results in “temporary loss of normal brain function.”


What are the symptoms of concussion?

Common symptoms of concussion include headache, loss of memory, and confusion.


Other symptoms may include:

  • Feeling dazed

  • Clumsiness

  • Slurred speech

  • Nausea

  • Balance problems or dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Sensitivity to light or noise

  • Irritability or other behavior or personality changes

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Fatigue or sleepiness

Importantly, not every concussion is the same. Different individuals experience different symptoms after a concussion. Sometimes, symptoms may not appear for hours or days after the initial concussion.


When should you seek Emergency Care?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, seek emergency medical care if a concussed individual experiences any of the following symptoms in the hours or days after their injury:

  • Severe headache or a headache that continues to get worse over time

  • Seizures or convulsions

  • Loss of consciousness (greater than 1 minute)

  • Severe dizziness, loss of balance or problems with walking

  • Repeated vomiting (more than once)

  • Increasing confusion, such as difficulty recognizing people or places

  • Clear, watery discharge from the nose or ears

  • Bloody discharge from the ears

  • Numbness, weakness or tingling in arms or legs

  • Unusual, bizarre or irritable behavior.

  • Slurred speech

  • Pupils that are bigger than normal or unequal in size

  • Extreme drowsiness, difficulty waking from sleep, or fainting

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