Concussion Side Effects

A man places his hands on his head in a sign of head pain or concussion.

Concussion Side Effects: What to Know & Look Out For

Concussions cause alterations in brain function that are most often temporary. Still, continuing—and even long-term—problems can occur in certain situations. They are traumatic brain injuries, which makes understanding the signs, symptoms, and side effects exceedingly important.

What Causes Concussions?

A concussion is the result of an injury, such as a bump, blow, jolt, or hit to the head. Any sudden movement that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth, bounce around, or even twist is a possible cause of concussion. This is why certain activities—such as contact sports—are more likely to lead to concussions, although some causes are purely accidental. Something as simple as a fall that causes someone to hit their head can lead to a concussion and damaging side effects.

What Are the Symptoms of Concussions?

A person who experiences a traumatic brain injury may not notice the signs right away, but symptoms usually develop soon after the injury has occurred. Signs to look out for include:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • A loss of consciousness
  • An inability to recall events prior to or after the injury
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Problems with balance
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech or delays in responses to questions
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Irritability or other personality shifts
  • Sleep disruptions

Some symptoms will be reported by the concussed person themselves, while others are more likely to be observed by others about the person who sustained the injury.

Potential Long-Term Side Effects

The brain can suffer impaired function in response to an injury, but this is reversible with time and rest in the vast majority of cases. That said, repeated concussions have been shown to cause long-term side effects. While this is more common in cases of repeated head trauma—such as an athlete returning to the field before they’re ready or football players who sustain numerous concussions over a period of time in their career—these side effects can happen in the days or weeks following even a first-time concussion.

Long-term (lasting longer than three months) side effects present as post-concussion syndrome, which is a condition that results from abnormal brain wave patterns and the partial wasting of important motor pathways. In response, sufferers may experience:

  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Coordination problems
  • Behavior changes

Seeking Treatment for Concussion Side Effects

If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion, professional medical treatment may be able to help. Fortunately, residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York can seek the care they need conveniently from PhysicianOne Urgent Care. We have numerous locations that are all open 365 days per year on a walk-in basis, allowing patients to get high-quality care without having to go far out of their way. In addition, we also offer telehealth visits so that patients can access medical attention and expert guidance 24/7. When you need treatment you can rely on for concussion side effects or another condition, we’re here for you.

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