Concussion – Symptoms

By Michael Yorio, MD

Concussion Symptoms Identified

Symptoms associated with a concussion can include but are not limited to headache, dizziness, visual changes, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, and feeling slowed down or confused. Some signs that can be observed during a concussion include unsteady balance, memory loss, being “knocked out”, confusion, blank stare, emotional changes, and slow to answer questions. If any of these signs or symptoms are present it is important to have the athlete evaluated by an appropriate health care provider.

How do you tell if you or your loved one has a concussion?

Not every head impact causes a concussion, and not all concussions are the same. So how do you know if you or your child may have sustained a concussion? There are three important things to do if you suspect you or your child may have a concussion:

1. Remove from activity and rest – this is a very important first step. If a concussion is present, removing from play helps protect the individual from an additional and potentially more severe injury and it starts the recovery process.

2. Talk and observe – talk to your child and ask them if they have any concussion symptoms, and while you are talking to them assess if they seem like themselves or seem a bit off. If you are the one sustaining the injury, talk to someone and see if you have any symptoms consistent with a concussion while talking and thinking.

3. When in Doubt, Sit Them Out – many times an athlete will say they are fine, but they seem off or their actions show otherwise. Don’t try to make the determination about the presence of a concussion yourself; let an appropriate health care provider decide whether or not a concussion is present. As noted in the Heads Up program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, “Its better to miss one game then the entire season”.


JOI Concussion Program

Sports Injuries written on running track

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