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Concussion Symptoms: What to Watch For

Concussions, as a form of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), can manifest through a wide range of symptoms, affecting each individual differently. Understanding these symptoms is crucial for recognizing a concussion and seeking timely medical attention. At Revivo, our Toronto-based physiotherapy and neurology clinic, we prioritize educating our patients and the community about the signs and symptoms of concussions. This awareness can significantly impact the management and recovery process. Here’s a comprehensive overview of concussion symptoms to watch for, categorized by physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep-related effects.

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache or a sensation of pressure in the head: Often described as the most common symptom following a concussion.
  • Nausea or vomiting: These symptoms can occur shortly after the injury.
  • Balance problems or dizziness: Difficulty maintaining balance or feeling as if the room is spinning.
  • Blurred or double vision: Changes in vision can indicate a concussion.
  • Sensitivity to light and noise: A newfound intolerance to bright lights or loud sounds.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or drowsy can be a sign of a concussion.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus): An auditory symptom that may occur after a head injury.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog: Difficulty understanding what’s happening around you.
  • Memory problems: Especially issues with remembering the event that caused the concussion.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Finding it hard to focus on tasks or conversations.
  • Slowed down processing of information: Taking longer to think, respond, or understand.

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability: Getting easily upset or angered more quickly than usual.
  • Sadness: Feelings of unhappiness or depression that are hard to shake.
  • Nervousness or anxiety: Increased worry or anxiety that doesn’t seem to have a clear cause.
  • More emotional than usual: Experiencing emotions more intensely or in a more uncontrolled manner.

Sleep-Related Symptoms

  • Sleeping more than usual: Feeling the need to sleep much more than before the injury.
  • Trouble falling asleep: Difficulties initiating sleep, despite feeling tired.
  • Sleeping less than usual: Inability to sleep as much as before the concussion.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you or someone you know exhibits any of these symptoms following a blow to the head or a body impact that jolts the head, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if the symptoms seem mild, a healthcare professional can assess the situation and provide guidance on the appropriate next steps.

The Importance of Monitoring

After a concussion, symptoms can evolve and change over time. Continuous monitoring of the individual’s condition is essential for identifying any changes in symptoms or the development of new issues. This vigilance helps ensure timely intervention if the person’s condition worsens.

Conclusion

Recognizing the symptoms of a concussion is the first step in getting the necessary care and support for recovery. At Revivo, we are committed to providing our patients with the knowledge and resources to identify and manage concussions effectively. Understanding these symptoms empowers individuals and caregivers to take prompt action, contributing to a safer and more informed path to recovery.

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