Symptoms


Concussion Symptom List

It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. You don’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. 

Generally, if you feel that “something is not quite right,” or if you are feeling “foggy”, you should talk with a concussion specialist. Concussion symptoms are often grouped into four categories, including:

 Physical

  • Headache
  • Appetite decrease
  • Appetite increase
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Bump into things
  • Change in smell
  • Change in taste
  • Clumsiness
  • Dizziness: lack of equilibrium
  • Double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling slowed down or heavy
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Numbness & tingling
  • Pressure in head
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to smell
  • Slurred speech
  • Vertigo
  • Vomiting

Cognitive (thinking)

  • Answer questions slowly
  • Behavior or personality changes
  • Brain fog
  • Confusion about recent events
  • Difficulty communicating with others
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Difficulty with new information or conversations
  • Diminished short term memory
  • Feel dazed or stunned
  • Feel like you’ve “lost time”
  • Feel “out of it”
  • Feel “spacey”
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of focus
  • Lose track in conversations with others
  • Mental fatigue
  • Not thinking clearly
  • Repeats questions
  • Word finding challenges

 Emotional

  • Anger/Rage
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased motivation
  • Depression
  • Difficulty in handling stress
  • Difficulty with intimacy
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Easily frustrated
  • Irritability
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness
  • Sadness

Sleep

  • Change in dreaming or nightmares
  • Difficulty falling to sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Drowsiness
  • Need for excessive sleep

Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand why they are having problems and what their problems really are, which can make them nervous and upset. The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members, or doctors. People may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently.