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Watching for Concussion Symptoms

Posted On: 09-21-2018
Watching for Concussion Symptoms
While loss of consciousness is commonly associated with a concussion, it's not the only sign that medical attention is necessary. In fact, loss of consciousness is not a symptom at all for approximately 90 percent of all concussions that are diagnosed, according to stats reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since symptoms of a concussion may appear after the initial impact, observation for the 24 to 48 hours is usually recommended. Knowing what symptoms to look for after a concussion will give you a better idea of when to seek medical assistance.

Symptoms Immediately After a Concussion

Symptoms of a concussion may appear at any time following the initial impact, although certain signs tend to be more immediate. Temporary loss of consciousness is the most serious symptom that sometimes occurs after a concussion. A severe headache or a feeling of pressure in the head may be experienced right after the impact. You may also have general confusion or be in a fog that affects your ability to think clearly. Sometimes there is short-term amnesia where the event that caused the concussion is forgotten. Concussion symptoms may also include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Delayed responses to questions
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Slurred speech

Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Symptoms may be delayed by several hours or days following the event that caused the concussion. In addition to headaches that become increasingly worse, you may experience noticeable difficulties with concentration. Some concussion sufferers report trouble with memory that includes an inability to recall recent events or confusion over a sequence of events. For instance, a conversation that occurred over breakfast may be recalled as having happened the night before. Delayed personality changes can appear in the form of increased irritability and agitation. Some concussion patients also report trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and a heightened sensitivity to light and noise. Delayed symptoms may also include:

  • Changes in perception of tastes and smells
  • Depression and increased anxiety
  • An inability to complete simple tasks

Observation for Additional Symptoms

If you do show noticeable symptoms following a concussion, you may be observed in a hospital overnight. If concussion symptoms are non-existent or mild, home observation is usually recommended. Observation, whether taking place at home or in a hospital, involves periodic checking for symptoms. The purpose of observation is to make sure symptoms aren't becoming worse or that new concussion symptoms aren't appearing. Observation of symptoms often includes periodic wakening. The purpose of this step is to make sure you are able to awaken normally and without confusion or disorientation.

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