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Concussion Signs and Symptoms

A concussion is any head trauma causing an altered mental state that may or may not involve a loss of consciousness. Very few concussions involve a loss of consciousness.

Signs of a concussion are what a parent or coach recognizes in a student athlete with a concussion. A student athlete is sometimes not even aware he or she has had a concussion and may not report it or even know to report symptoms.

Signs of Concussion

  • appears dazed or stunned
  • disoriented or confused
  • balance seems wobbly, unsteady on their feet
  • trouble remembering things
  • asks the same questions repeatedly
  • forgets plays, unsure of the game, opponent or score
  • answers questions slowly
  • shows behavior or personality changes

Symptoms of Concussion

Concussion symptoms are what the student athletes will report if asked. It is important to for student athletes to understand they must be honest in reporting their symptoms. Don't be alarmed by concussion symptoms, as they are the hallmark of a concussion. Watching the concussion symptoms for improvement over time, however, is how we know a concussion is getting better.

Concussion Symptoms

Physical: How a Person Feels Physically

  • Headache/Pressure
  • Nausea
  • Blurred Vision
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Poor Balance
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Ringing in Ears
  • Sensitivity to Noise
  • Seeing "Stars"
  • Disorientation
  • Vacant Stare/Glassy-Eyed
  • Neck Pain

Cognitive: How a Person Thinks

  • Feel in a "Fog"
  • Feel "Slowed Down"
  • Difficulty Remembering
  • Difficulty Concentrating/
    Easily Distracted
  • Slowed Speech
  • Easily Confused

Emotional: How a Person Feels Emotionally

  • Inappropriate Emotions
  • Irritability
  • Personality Change
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness/Anxiety
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Feeling "More Emotional"

Sleep/Energy: How a Person Experiences Their Energy Level and/or Sleep Patterns

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Excess Sleep
  • Sleeping Less Than Usual
  • Trouble Falling Asleep

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