Have you heard about sports concussions or concussion injuries and wondered what that really means? It's as simple as bumping your head while playing and not quite feeling OK after that, or it can happen from car crashes and other accidents. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of a concussion and when it’s time to see a doctor.
Concussions can cause many symptoms, some of them seemingly insignificant. If you’ve taken a blow to the head or if you’ve had a fall, see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
There are six categories of concussion symptoms: cognitive/fatigue, vestibular, ocular, post-traumatic migraine, cervical and anxiety/mood. If you are experiencing these symptoms after a concussion in sports or in general, call your doctor immediately.
Some symptoms you may experience can include difficulty thinking clearly, feeling slowed down, difficulty concentrating and difficulty remembering new information.
The vestibular system is the balance center of the brain. Symptoms may include the inability to interpret motion or difficulty stabilizing vision upon head movement.
You may experience difficulties bringing your eyes together or tracking motion.
Symptoms include headache, nausea and sensitivity to light or noise.
If a concussive blow affects the extra-cranial region, including the neck and/or spinal cord, you may experience ongoing headaches.
Symptoms associated with anxiety/mood may include ruminating thoughts or excessive worry.
Concussion symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to months depending on how severe the concussion was.
It’s important to be aware of these symptoms and know when it’s time to see a doctor. Learn more about when adults and kids should seek medical attention.
Kids need to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone if they bump their head and don’t feel well, and that it’s OK to stop playing. They should also know that if it’s a teammate who is injured, they shouldn’t put pressure on him or her to return to a game. Concussions should be taken seriously.
Tell your kids that if they experience any these things, tell an adult:
Playing while it still hurts does not mean you're being strong or brave. It’s OK to just say “No, I’m not feeling right.” Kids may feel sad and upset at not being able to play, but let them know: How you feel is more important than finishing the game. It’s OK to walk away, get better and then return on the field.
It is important to be aware if you have had a concussion as it could lead to more serious conditions. Along with the typical concussion symptoms, seek medical help if you’re experiencing:
Make sure to get immediate medical help if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms. The team at Banner Health is here to help.