Concussion Signs & Symptoms

Picture of a man with a concussion sitting on a couch and holding his head.Are you worried that you or a loved one might have experienced a concussion? Because concussions often don’t produce any visible symptoms, they commonly go undiagnosed. In fact, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s sports medicine program found that 5 in 10 concussions go unreported or undetected. Prompt treatment for a concussion is critical, so PhysicianOne Urgent Care has compiled the following information on how to spot a concussion and what to do if you or a loved one sustains this injury.

What Is a Concussion?

Before delving into the signs and symptoms of a concussion, it may be helpful to explain exactly what a concussion is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion is “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” When this happens, the brain may bounce or twist back and forth within the skull. As the CDC explains, doing so can stretch or otherwise damage the brain cells and lead to chemical changes within the brain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

According to the CDC, a concussion can cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Headache
  • A feeling of pressure within the head
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Grogginess
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss (many concussion patients have trouble remembering the events that occurred immediately before and after their injury)
  • Changes in mood, personality, and/or behavior
  • Loss of consciousness (this may be brief)

In some instances, someone who’s sustained a concussion may report that they simply don’t feel “right.” Concussion symptoms often appear immediately, but some may not develop until hours or even days after the injury.

When Does a Concussion Require Emergency Care?

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have sustained a concussion, you should always consult with a medical professional. While many concussions can be treated by primary care providers (PCPs) or immediate care providers—like PhysicianOne Urgent Care—some require emergency attention. The CDC recommends that someone call 911 or visit a nearby emergency room (ER) if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • A headache that worsens and does not go away
  • Different-sized pupils
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Drowsiness or difficulty waking up
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Increased confusion
  • Restlessness, agitation, or other unusual behavior
  • Loss of consciousness (even if brief)

Caregivers should also seek emergency treatment for an infant or toddler who refuses to nurse/eat or won’t stop crying.

Where to Go for Concussion Treatment

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a concussion, you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care for treatment. We have numerous locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, all of which are open 365 days per year with extended hours. Our goal is to make the treatment process as easy and stress-free as possible for our patients, so you can schedule an appointment in advance, reserve your spot in line using our online check-in system, or simply walk in whenever it’s most convenient for you. Or, to receive care without having to leave your home, schedule a Virtual Visit.

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