Concussions—Symptoms and When to See a Medical Professional

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Head injuries can happen in a variety of ways and range from mild to life threatening. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the brain’s function and can lead to health problems if it is not properly treated. However, the symptoms of a concussion can be subtle or delayed, so it is important to know what to look for.

Possible symptoms of a concussion

  • Headache or pressure in head
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Loss of memory surrounding the traumatic event
  • Ringing in ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech

Some symptoms may be delayed, which may include:

  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Irritability and personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances

When to seek emergency care

If you or someone around you experiences the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Increasingly painful headache
  • Changes in behavior
  • Lack of physical coordination
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Vision disturbances
  • Slurred speech

The ImPACT Test

The specialists at Comprehensive Orthopedic and Sports Medicine utilize a computerized neurocognitive test called the ImPACT Test to help evaluate and manage concussions. First, a medical professional performs a baseline test and the scores are collected and stored. If a suspected concussion occurs, the medical team can access the baseline results and compare it to the score on the post-injury test.

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