With the beginning of school, even during a pandemic, kids are playing more sports, and with sports comes injuries. One of the most common sports-related injuries is concussion.

At Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates, our experts treat numerous sports-related injuries, and we recognize the symptoms of a concussion. Without proper care, a concussion can become a major health concern. Whether you believe you have a possible concussion, or you’re concerned about your child, seek care if any of the symptoms in this post are present.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. Often, the effects of a concussion are temporary, and they may be mild, but they affect how your brain functions. Most often, a concussion is caused by a blow to the head. Auto accidents, sports, and even falls can result in concussions. Violently shaking the head or upper body can also result in a concussion.

There are symptoms of concussion that other people can observe, and there are symptoms that the person with the concussion may report.

Here are five signs that may indicate a concussion has happened.

1. Dazed, stunned, sluggish, groggy

First, you should know that you don’t always lose consciousness when you sustain a concussion. You may, but you can be concussed without passing out. You may, however, appear to be dazed or stunned, or you may feel sluggish or groggy.

This condition may be apparent immediately after the blow to the head, or even hours later. A person with a concussion may also have slurred speech or appear confused.

2. Inability to remember just before or just after the blow

Regardless of whether you fell and hit your head, you were involved in an auto accident, you endured a sports injury, or your head was hit some other way, you may struggle to remember exactly what happened.

You may not recall the moments leading up to the injury or what happened right after. This amnesia is called post-traumatic amnesia (PTA). When you can’t remember the events before the injury, it’s called retrograde PTA, and when you can’t remember the events just after the injury it’s called antegrade PTA.

3. Clumsiness or problems with balance

A common sign of a concussion involves an inability to move normally. If you see someone who endured a blow to the head moving clumsily, it’s possible they have balance problems, feel dizzy, or have blurry vision.

4. Nausea, vomiting, headache

You may not vomit or even feel nauseated immediately after the injury, but these symptoms appear in the hours or even days following it. If you do vomit immediately, chances are quite high that you’ve got a concussion, and you should seek medical care. Some people continue to feel nauseous and experience vomiting for days or weeks.

It makes sense that a blow to the head can leave you with a headache, and indeed, headache is the most common symptom among people who have a concussion. It may be an unusual headache that feels like pressure, or it may be a migraine accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound.

5. Moodiness or fatigue

As you recover from a concussion, you may feel irritable or grumpy, or you may feel more tired than usual. If you notice these symptoms in the days after your injury, you may have a concussion.

Without treatment, a concussion can give rise to complications including headaches, vertigo, and a condition called post-concussion syndrome. About 15-20% of people who have concussions have symptoms that last for more than three weeks, which is considered post-concussion syndrome.

Earlier treatment leads to better outcomes in concussions. If you believe that you or your child may have a concussion, book an appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates in Independence, Ohio, as soon as possible, or go to the emergency department for evaluation and treatment.

 Dr. Keppler is a practicing surgeon and member of the following organizations:

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