What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that results from a blow or sudden movement to the head, neck, or body that causes the brain to shift or shear inside the skull. At impact, the brain can become bruised, tissues torn, and minor swelling can occur. The injury can result in various temporary chemical changes inside the brain that cause it to function improperly. The shifts in brain function can alter the way you think, act, or feel. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of a concussion occur immediately after an impact, while others can take minutes, hours, or even days to appear.

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You can experience many different signs and symptoms right after a head injury:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Problems with balance, vision, concentration, and memory
  • Some of the late signs and symptoms of concussion are sleep irregularities, depression or anxiety, lethargy, memory dysfunction, personality changes, or irritability

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms because concussions and the symptoms they produce range in severity and not everyone’s experience is the same.