Common Signs of Concussion

Sep 05, 2023
 Common Signs of Concussion
Any trauma to your brain is potentially problematic, which is why it’s important to recognize the signs of concussion. Here, we review these signs from two angles — as the one with the injury and as the one who’s observing.

Each year in the United States, experts estimate that between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur in recreation- or sports-related activities. The reason for the wide gap in numbers is that many concussions go unreported and, worse, undiagnosed.

At Gill Neuroscience, our team, led by board-certified neurologist Dr. Paul Gill, understands that there’s no such thing as a minor brain injury. Whether the potential danger is immediate or down the road, you should never dismiss a concussion.

To give you an idea about when you should seek our medical expertise about a head injury, we review the signs of a concussion — from the perspective of the one who has the concussion, as well as from the perspective of an observer.

The road to a concussion

A concussion most often occurs in one of three scenarios:

  • Falling and hitting your head
  • Something striking your head
  • Rapid acceleration-deceleration of the head (think whiplash)

In each of these cases, your brain gets rocked inside your skull, which can lead to damage — and the damage can range from mild to severe.

Even if a concussion is mild, it’s important to take steps to protect your brain because it’s very fragile during this time, and a subsequent concussion can lead to permanent and life-altering damage. 

Or a moderate concussion can leave you with some permanent, but unnoticeable, damage that can worsen and become very noticeable with a second bump to your head.

Our point here is that we want you to recognize when you’ve had a concussion so you can take a little extra care in the future.

What you might experience with a concussion

When you bump your head hard enough that a concussion is a concern, you want to look out for:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in your head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sluggish, like you’re in a fog
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness

A knock to the head doesn’t always end with a loss of consciousness — indeed, most concussions don’t.

Recognizing concussion in others

If you’re with someone who has hit their head fairly hard, you might notice:

  • A loss of memory about the incident
  • Speaking slowly
  • Confusion as to where they are and what they’re doing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slurred speech
  • Moving awkwardly

If you notice any of these signs, seek help.

Getting help

If you notice any of the symptoms we mention above, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a specialist. It’s especially important if there was any loss of consciousness, if symptoms are severe, or if symptoms don’t get better or even worsen.

The bottom line is that you should never take head injuries lightly, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

For expert diagnosis and concussion care, please call our office in Houston, Texas, at 832-912-7777, or use our online request form to set up an appointment.