How to Know If You Have a Concussion

2024-05-10, Kyle Herbert

After an accident, it’s important to understand how to know if you have a concussion.

A concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury, occurs when an impact or forceful motion of the head or body causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull. This sudden movement can create chemical changes in the brain and occasionally stretch and damage brain cells.

With this article, we want to provide an informative guide to help you identify the signs of a concussion and encourage appropriate medical intervention.

Recognizing the Symptoms
Part of understanding how to know if you have a concussion means knowing the symptoms. However, the signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not appear immediately. They can last for days, weeks, or even longer.

Physical Symptoms
Headache: A persistent headache is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion.
Nausea and vomiting: Some people may experience these symptoms after a head injury.
Blurred vision: After a concussion, you might find your vision isn’t as clear as it used to be.
Dizziness: You might experience a loss of balance or unsteadiness.
Sensitivity to light and noise: These symptoms can occur due to sensory disruptions in the brain.
Sleep disturbances: You may sleep more or less than usual, or have trouble falling asleep.
Cognitive and Emotional Symptoms
Difficulty thinking clearly: Post-concussion, your cognitive processes might be slower than usual.
Feeling slowed down: You might feel as though you are not able to process or respond to information as quickly as before.
Difficulty concentrating: It might be harder to focus on tasks.
Memory problems: You may have difficulty remembering new information.
Irritability: Changes in mood, including irritability or other emotional responses, can occur after a concussion.
Sadness or depression: Some individuals experience changes in their emotional well-being, which may include feelings of sadness or depression.
Symptoms in Children
Children may not have the language skills to communicate how they are feeling, so it’s particularly important to watch for non-verbal signs of a concussion. These may include:

Appearing dazed
Listlessness and tiring easily
Irritability and crankiness
Loss of balance and unsteady walking
Crying excessively
Change in eating or sleeping patterns
Causes of Concussions
Concussions are most often caused by impacts to the head, such as those that might occur during sports activities, car accidents, falls, or physical assaults. They can also occur when the body is subjected to violent shaking or a sudden deceleration.

When to Seek Medical Advice
If you suspect that you or someone else may have a concussion, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Even if symptoms seem mild, it’s important to get evaluated by a healthcare professional to prevent potentially serious complications. Untreated concussions can lead to long-term damage, so never ignore the signs.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Understanding the signs of a concussion is the first step towards ensuring your health and safety. In the case of a head injury, always err on the side of caution and consult with a healthcare provider.

Disclaimer: This article, “How to Know If You Have a Concussion,” is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.