Recognize Symptoms of a Concussion

Recognize symptoms of a concussion

Everyone can help recognize a possible concussion if they know what to look for.

A person with a concussion might have any of the signs or symptoms listed below. They might show up right away or hours, or even days later. Just one sign or symptom is enough to suspect a concussion. Most people with a concussion do not lose consciousness.

Common signs and symptoms

Physical

  • Headache
  • Pressure in the head
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Balance problems
  • Tired or low energy
  • Drowsiness
  • “Don’t feel right”

Sleep-related

  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Having a hard time falling asleep

Cognitive (Thinking)

  • Not thinking clearly
  • Slower thinking
  • Feeling confused
  • Problems concentrating
  • Problems remembering

Emotional

  • Irritability (easily upset or angered)
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Nervous or anxious

 

Red Flags

“Red flags” may mean the person has a more serious injury. Treat red flags as an emergency and call 911.

Red flags include:

  • Neck pain or tenderness
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling in arms or legs
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness (knocked out)
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Increasingly restless, agitated or aggressive
  • Getting more and more confused