Concussion Symptoms: What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know: Symptoms of Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), sometimes called a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Concussions are the result of a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Just like people, every concussion is unique. In fact, healthcare professionals in the field of brain injury often say, “If you’ve seen one concussion, you’ve seen one concussion.” Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Most signs or symptoms of a concussion are evident soon after the traumatic event, while you may only become aware of others days or weeks later.

The following are the most common signs and symptoms of a concussion:

General Symptoms of Concussion

  • Headaches or neck pain that do not go away
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
  • Getting lost or easily confused
  • Feeling tired all of the time, having no energy or motivation
  • Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance
  • Urge to vomit (nausea)
  • Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions
  • Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Ringing in the ears

Most people make a good recovery from a concussion, but it’s important to take what may seem like just a bump on the head seriously. A common question is when should I go to the hospital for a concussion? If you or a loved one notices any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away. Even seemingly minor bumps can result in life threatening brain bleeding or other serious conditions that can only be identified and treated in a hospital.

Children Concussion Symptoms

Children with a concussion can have the same symptoms as adults, but it is often harder for them to share how they feel. Call your child’s doctor if they have had a blow to the head and you notice any of these concussion symptoms:

  • Tiredness or listlessness
  • Irritability or crankiness (will not stop crying or cannot be consoled)
  • Changes in eating (will not eat or nurse)
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in the way the child plays
  • Changes in performance at school
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training
  • Loss of balance or unsteady walking
  • Vomiting

Sometimes adults and children complain of “just not feeling like themselves.” Children often have a hard time explaining that they don't feel normal and it's up to the parents and their friends, family or coaches to know that they aren't acting like themselves and get them to rest or to seek medical attention.

Posted on BrainLine July 25, 2018. Reviewed September 9, 2021.

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Comments (159)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Hi on new years eve I was at a friend's house I remember I took three shots of Smirnoff and I remember singing and dancing with my friend. She tells me took at least four shots I said no I'm good with just three and all of a sudden I woke up in the hospital. When I woke up I ask what was I doing here in hospital all they did is I was intoxicated then I feel back asleep. Then I said why does my left side of me l and my head and back with pain going down my left arm hurting the doctors did not respond and I was discharged at 8:15am Monday morning new years day. When got home pain got worse didn't think to much about it but then got worse Tuesday and I'm thinking should I wait to go to doctors so I can maybe get an X-ray on my head because I was told I feel hard on the floor at friends front door. I have a history of brain damage from the age of ten years old I am thirty -eight now should I go to doctors now or should I wait till Monday. Cause you know how people wait seven to see if pain got worse then go in or should I go now to doctors.

My brother got on new depression meds and he hurts himself when he gets overwhelmed today he was smacking his head against the wall and my mom says he’s got a huge bump he said he felt weird and went to sleep what should I do?

Go the the doctor or hospital to check for brain injury

I was walking down some stairs a drunk man behind me was walking down the stairs at the same time he missed a step fell into me making me fell 6 stairs hitting a window with my forehead right at hair line and when I hit it I was paralyzed and the only thing I could fell was my head so that drunk man went got someone because I was paralyzed for awhile went to the hospital nothing no bleeding in the brain no broken bones I have something wrong with my right arm shoulder doctor thing I did something to the cup I have Togo have a MRI I still have tigling in my hands can't remember how long should I stay off work?

5 years ago I had a concussion, 12 hours later I had a stroke and now I have dementia. I believe all are related, is that possible?

Amazing, this is great and I want to learn more

I slipped over the wet hardwood floor by running and didn't it was moped. After I fell i felt dizzy and tired.

I fell backwards lost my balance and hit my head. Got a goose egg on back of head slight headache. Should I have it checked out in er. No headache or anything. Just tender.

In 2001, I suffered a head injury at my workplace in Virginia. Doctors that worked for Workers Compensation were somewhat biased. Now in 2022 I still suffer from severe symptoms. I wish I knew of a group that gave support to TBI patients, and people with TBI could support others.

so yesterday i hit my head a few times but it was with my sister n stuff. and now my tummy hurts and my brain feels foggy

Hi I got bashed on my way home from a pub last Thursday night I was taken to hospital and had ct scans on my head , neck , face I got out of hospital Friday afternoon and was ok on Saturday now I have gone down hill I have been in bed since Sunday and can't stomach food feel sick and have slept for days could this be bad ?

I had a piece of wood land on the top of my head from 14 feet high - felt like a railway sleeper hitting me. When l touch my head, weeks later, it still feels like prickles on it. & it's still puffy around my eyes.

Thanks for telling me that if my child is walking unsteadily after a bad fall, they might be suffering from a concussion. I'm glad I found this article of yours so I could bookmark it. As a mother of three kids, I'm always worried that they might get a concussion from rough play.

I had a fall at night as I have weakness in my ankle and back due to injury and disability. As I went to bathroom at night my ankle gave way and I fell backwards banging head onto floor stuck in between the bed I tried to get up and i fell again banging head it took me a while to get up and I managed to get to bed .the next day i was in terrible pain called 111 then ambulance came checked over said head injury concussion now a month still in pain with head bruised and not right is this normal

So im 15 and i have ADD and many times i get angry so just a few day back i banged my head to the wall around 40 times in all the areas of my head and im feeling a but light headed and different is there any damage in my brain? Is it a concussion or a permanent damage can someone tell pls

You may have damaged your brain but the only way to know is to go to the doctor.

i have had this problem for a while. i have been sensitive to light and can’t focus in school, so i was prescribed Adderall witch made it the vision blurring worse. the more i look at my phone, the more it puts me in a bad dream like state of mind where my vision is blurry but also not. i got hit really hard in football last year (few months ago) and i uncontrollably cried both times, and i wasn’t sad at all. i sneeze after getting hit and i was finally starting to get a little better but i just got hit a little and it put me in a terrible place (this was a few minutes ago) i wanna go to school for football in the future so idk what to do.

Concussions are extremely common in football. It can really cause a lot of brain damage over time, causing charges in behaviors, even violent behavior. I'd highly recommend reading up on this. I have three kids and would give my right arm to never have any them play football. Please see a doctor, save stay safe. Your mom will thank you.

Don’t take drugs and pharmaceutical prescription stuff usually it’s not a good idea. Spend time with nature and with your breath say a word or a phrase over and over and watch your thoughts with no emotion like you’re watching a movie you were running stream eventually just be with your breath you can do just walking also in commune with nature the trees your aunts and uncles I want your best with every fiber of your being most people just don’t know where your brother is your best friend it was there at the beginning it’ll be there all the way till the end best comrade ever be with it

I just hit my hand against the floor and it hurts really really bad so what do I do

Damn man I’m sorry to hear that. Seems like a hard hit, I would definitely go do a checkup with a doctor if you haven’t already. I hope for the best!

I had ringing in my ears for the past years and it haven't stopped ! I also have headaces AKA: mindgranes put my mom still wants me to go to school even when my big sister syann said don't because of your headace I just wanted to feel better, but my mother keeps saying np

I got headbutted by a 4-year-old right above my brow bone super hard, and now my eyes are super sensitive t light, I have a constant headache, and I cannot focus all that well in school. Does this sound like a concussion or am I just experiencing weird things.

I think i got a concussion cuz yesterday my friend was pushing me on a swing in a field and boom my head right into a tree it still hurts also my thigh got hit too.

So i was walking then playing around with my dad in the soild hard ground and he accidentally flipped me and my mom was really far away and herd a thump.So when i fell i kidof nocked put then couldn't breath but when i did start breathing i was crying because my head and neck hurt really bad and i went to sleep and it still hirts a lot this morning

I got pushed fell backward and hit the back of my head. At first I felt like I was above the ground then I could not feel my body. I saw my hands two different places that fright me out! I slowly started getting back feeling in my body. All this happened so quick can't say how long it took. Now I have tingles around my neck and ears. I am very concerned. I went to the urgent care and I was told everything looks good but I am concern about the tingles. It feel like sharp quick shocks. Please advice do I need a CT scan?

I would suggest getting a ct scan. Hospital can test more for problems then a urgent care

Heyy! I'm not a doctor but i think you should go see a doctor! The tingles thingy is generally not a good sign! U'll be in my prayers!

My son has had TBI for 15 years and no medical treatment or rehab has ever been offered. They say it's not mental so mental health can't help him please help us- janie

I was running outside after it had rained and I slipped and fell backwards onto the floor. It hurt for about 6 minutes but now it only hurts on contact. I thought I died when I hit my head because the world went completely black for half a second. I have 3 symptoms. I’m tired so I’m going to bed now. I hope I don’t die in my sleep lol.

Are you ok? Do you still have symptoms?

I am here bc I have all of these symptoms after hitting my head on my top bunk witch was when I woke up around 10am its 3am now and I am scared to go to sleep bc I think I'm gonna die but I don't want to tell my foster mom I hit my head and think I have a concussion but I've already passed out today

Tell your foster mom. You need to get checked out. If you passed out it may be serious.

A big chunk of ice fell off the roof and hit my head. The pain was so bad I cried for over an hour. Now I have all of the symptoms except one. I have to drive my daughter to work and when I'm driving it feels like the car is all over the road but my daughter said it isn't.

get to the hospital!!

oof i just hit my head and i have 7 of the symptoms

I hit my forehead and now it has a bump (5m 13) and only maybe 15 mins later (?) I found a bump on my forhead It hurts a bit and its 12:30 AM rn probably 40 mins after I hit my head. I got up and got a water bottle maybw 20 mins ago and I was wobbly. Im also super tired cause its late at night but Idk if I should sleep or not. Like I said my forhead hurts a bit and Im a little wobbly so idk if I have a concussion or what..

66 years old a week ago walked into wall in dark bathroom run and now I get a severe headache while I’m sleeping wakes me up over right temple extremely painful 3 nights in a row. The first 2 were almost same time in early am last night has 4 starting at midnight went away feel back to sleep and 3 more at intervals hypnic headaches or concussion?

My husband, aged 76, was having thermo-regulatory sweat tests earlier today, for his autonomic system failure, at UAB Medical Center. After the test, while entering the sit-shower, he became faint and fell in the shower, hitting his forehead (big goose egg), and his shins. Since we came home, the room started spinning when he was lying down, his head hurts badly if he bends over, and he has pain across the back of his neck and shoulder. How long should we wait to see if he starts feeling better? We don't want to go to an emergency room unless absolutely necessary due to his age and other high risk factors for COVID.

I don't know when this started but I keep getting distracted,have bad headaches,forget the most common stuff,parts of my head feel like they sunk a little,feel tired all the time,keep getting angry at the tiniest thing and feel sad almost all the time,have a hard time sleeping,feel light-headed,lose my balance sometimes,don't like high sounds or bright lights,my eyes get blurry a lot,feel like my eyes are tired?,loss of taste and ringing in the ears and I hit my head whenever I think something random and unessesary I just hit my head and it made a *crack*ish sound and my neck is hurting a lot and my right eye is feeling like something is covering? it and my head is starting to hurt pls help I don't know what to do right now

Yesterday someone pulled my hair, because they were trying to get something off me and I can’t quite remember the details but I fell back and hit my head (it happened really quick). I had a headache all day. Then at my soccer game today I did a header then my head really hurt and I felt dizzy. I have also been feeling light headed. My parents don’t know because I thought it was nothing. I am 12, what should I do?

Tell your coach right away!! And your parents!!

My head got hit with glass door very hard I have a hard barely visible bump on my head it hurts when I touch it and after that I feel very dizzy after touching I can not concentrate and focus also.

I put a rubber head band on tight to maintain my hair and went to sleep and woke up this morning with a bump on my head. What kind of condition you think this is?

My car was t-boned yesterday on the driver side very hard (i was driving) . I did not hit my head on anything but was jolted to the right very hard. The seat belt bruised my neck and shoulder, but today i am feeling a bit disoriented. Could it be a concussion?

I am a 15 year old girl. I feel off the bed and hit my head on the edge of the closet door. I'm having very bad headaches I can't see that well out of my right eye and I'm very dizzy. I'm very very tired I can't keep my eyes open. Well it hurt me to fall asleep. I'm so tired.

Go the hospital and tell your parents!

I’m 34 and fell out of my bed five days ago. I got a concussion and spent two days in the hospital. If you don’t feel right always seek medical attention.

You should definitely get looked at. Be safe. After playing hockey and football I had many.