Recognition of the signs and symptoms are crucial when diagnosing a concussion. Symptoms can vary from physical dysfunctions, mental disturbances, emotional changes and sleep changes. These symptoms will vary from patient to patient.

Signs May include:

Dazed, confusion, reduced memory, “unsureness”, clumsy, slowly answers questions, possible loss of consciousness, and slower behaviour.

Symptoms May include:

Physical: 

Headache
Nausea
Vomiting
Blurred or double vision
Seeing stars or lights
Balance problems
Dizziness
Sensitivity to light or noise
Tinnitus
Vertigo

Behavioural/ Emotional:

Drowsiness
Fatigue/lethargy
Irritability
Depression
Anxiety
Sleeping more than usual
Difficulty falling asleep

Cognitive:

Feeling “slowed down”
Feeling “in a fog” or “dazed”
Difficulty concentrating
Difficulty remembering

 

Red Flags – Get Medical Help ASAP!

1. Progressive worsening headache
2. Worsening vomiting and nausea
3. Unequal dilated pupils
4. Decline in mental status
5. Deteriorated sleep habits

Children under 2 years of age
Such risk factors include the following:
•Age younger than 2 years
•Vomiting
•Loss of consciousness
•Severe mechanism of injury
•Severe or worsening headache
•Amnesia
•Nonfrontal scalp hematoma
•Glasgow Coma Scale score less than 15
•Clinical suspicion for skull fracture

Injured athletes can exhibit many or just a few of the signs and/or symptoms of concussion. However, if an athlete exhibits any signs or symptoms of concussion, the responsibility is simple: remove them from participation. “When in doubt sit them out.” It is important to notify a parent or guardian when an athlete is thought to have a concussion. Any athlete with a concussion must be seen by an appropriate health care provider before returning to practice (including dryland/weight lifting) or competition.

“Having even just one sign or symptom may be a sign that the athlete has had a concussion and should be looked at by a experienced health professional dealing with head injuries”