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Concussion Signs and Symptoms

Nov 30, 2015


Football season is in full swing, which means it’s prime concussion season, too. Recent news events have many football players and their parents concerned about the effects of a concussion on brain functioning. However, it is important to note that a concussion can occur because of many different activities, not just football. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a concussion will keep you safe.

What Is a Concussion?

Orthopedic surgeons in Long Island often see patients who have suffered a concussion in addition to other injuries. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about concussions. In short, a concussion is an event in which a blow or jolt to the head disrupts regular brain functioning. Most concussions are considered “mild” traumatic brain injuries. More severe traumatic brain injury is characterized by an extended period of unconsciousness, such as a coma.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

There is a common misconception that is a person did not lose consciousness, it was not a concussion. This is incorrect. Any blow to the head, even one that involved no loss of consciousness, could cause a concussion. Common signs of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred or fuzzy vision
  • Nausea or vomiting soon after the head trauma
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Feeling mentally “fuzzy”
  • Sensitivity to light or sounds
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling mentally slow
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Significant fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Difficulty remembering new information

It is very common for people who have experienced a concussion to lose their memory immediately preceding or following an event. This may involve a few seconds or up to several minutes.

When to Seek Professional Help

Fortunately, the vast majority of people recover fully from a mild traumatic brain injury. It may take a few weeks or months for symptoms to subside. Recovery may be slower for children or older adults. What is important is to take your time and give yourself a break if you’re having difficulties.

In rare cases, a person with a concussion may develop a blood clot on the brain, which can be very dangerous. Consult your doctor immediately if you have a headache that doesn’t get better, slurred speech, repeated vomiting or nausea, coordination problems, weakness, numbness, seizures, significant confusion, or loss of consciousness.

Although concussions are a neurological problem, not strictly an orthopedic issue, all of our Long Island orthopedic specialists are familiar with the signs and symptoms of concussions. Visit a Peconic Bay Medical Center specialist today.