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- Concussion Quiz
- Concussion FAQs
- Patient Comments: Concussion - Cause
- Patient Comments: Concussion - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Concussion - Treatments
Quick GuideConcussions & Brain Injuries: Symptoms, Tests, Treatment
What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?
The signs and symptoms of concussion may be obvious or very subtle. Most patients are unaware that they have sustained a concussion and may not connect their symptoms with a head injury. This is especially true when symptoms develop hours after the initial injury and those events may have been forgotten. Being knocked out (loss of consciousness) or having a seizure after a head injury are not common and may be very dramatic but these two symptoms do not predict the severity of the concussion. Symptoms like mild confusion, disorientation, and irritability are most commonly seen. Symptoms tend not to be objective and may be hard to describe or be appreciated by the patient. Often it is family members or friends who are more aware of the situation.
Typical symptoms of concussion include:
- Difficulty concentrating or feeling “foggy”
- Slower reaction times
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Difficulty with bright lights or loud sounds
- Changes in sleep patterns, either insomnia or sleeping more
Because of all of the above, students may suffer a drop off in their school work and grades, while adults' work performance may suffer.
The purpose of the physical examination is to look for abnormalities that would point to bleeding in the brain or to a neck injury and spinal cord damage.
The neurologic exam in patients with concussion should be normal.