Concussions: More Common Than We Realize

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump,
blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to
the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. After a concussion,
some people lose consciousness for a short time. However, most concussions do
not result in a loss of consciousness. Doctors may describe these injuries as “mild”
because concussions are not usually life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be
serious. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a concussion can help you get
better more quickly.

Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people,
symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower
among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion
in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer
to recover if they have another concussion.

People with a concussion need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor may do a scan of your brain or other tests to assess your learning and
memory skills, your ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly you
can think and solve problems. These tests can help your doctor identify the effects
of a concussion. Even if the concussion doesn’t show up on these tests, you may
still have a concussion.

Your doctor will send you home with important instructions which must be followed
carefully. If you are taking medications—prescription, over-the-counter medicines,
or “natural remedies”—or if you drink alcohol or take illicit drugs, tell your doctor.
Also, tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners because they can increase
the chance of complications.

Symptoms of a Concussion
Thinking / Remembering 

  • Difficulty thinking
  • Feeling slowed
  • Difficulty
  • Difficulty
    remembering new


  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
    (early on)
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision
  • Feeling tired, having
    no energy
  • Sensitivity to noise or

Emotional / Mood

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness or

Sleep Disturbance

  • Sleeping more
    than usual
  • Sleeping less
    than usual
  • Trouble falling

At Work, Home, or Play, Safety Always!

This information is brought to you from the CDC. To learn more, visit or