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Concussion Symptoms and When to See a Doctor

Concussions are brain traumas from a hard knock or blow to the head. They can be mild or be very severe requiring immediate medical attention. Children, teens, and adults are all susceptible to sustaining a concussion, and the individual needs to be monitored for symptoms in order to determine how serious the brain injury might be. Pay attention to concussion symptoms and when to see a doctor.

Concussion Causes

Any hit to your body strong enough to cause your head to forcefully jerk back, forward, or to the side can cause a concussion. Some of these can include physical abuse, playing sports, being a soldier in combat, falling off a bike, or a motor vehicle accident.

Bruises to the nerves and blood vessels can cause chemical changes in the brain. One lone concussion does not normally cause damage to your brain. However, multiple concussions over a lifetime can result in structural damages in the brain, and the result is that your brain does not function normally.

The Common Symptoms of a Concussion

Symptoms generally show up shortly after a concussion, but sometimes it can be hours or even days. That is why monitoring is vital, especially with a child. Look for the following signs:

  • A headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Being sensitive to light or sounds
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Double vision
  • Feeling tired
  • Brain fog, memory loss, and/or not remembering what happened
  • Trouble concentrating

More severe symptoms include personality changes, slurred speech, repeated vomiting, fluid or blood draining from the ears or nose, dilated pupils, weakness in the arms or legs, disorientation like not recognizing places or faces, and trouble with physical coordination. Seizures or convulsions and lasting dizziness require a visit to the emergency room.