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Understanding Concussion – What You Need to Know

  • A type of brain injury often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
  • Caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or to the body that causes the head and brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain
  • Concussions are usually not life threatening but, they should be taken seriously
  • Most people DO NOT lose consciousness after a concussion (only 10% lose consciousness)
  • There may be no visible injury or there may be signs of injury to the head, such as bruising or cuts. The indicators can be very subtle
  • Symptoms may not appear until days or weeks following the injury or they can be missed altogether, as the individual may look fine
  • A concussion/mTBI is an injury to the brain, not just ‘seeing stars’
  • You can sustain a concussion in a number of ways, such as from a car crash, a fall, and from sporting activities
  • Most people will recover completely within 2-3 weeks if given the proper periods of rest and follow best practices and guidelines for a gradual return to activities (school, sport/play, work, & home activity)
  • Children may take a week or two longer to recover from a concussion
  • Repeated concussions occurring over an extended period can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive effects

Everyone should know the Basic Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Double vision or other visual issues
  • Appearing dazed, confused
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in the ears