Symptoms of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) may not appear for hours, days or until you are challenged (physically or mentally) following a head injury.
|The first 24 hours after having a brain injury are crucial. You should seek urgent medical help (either go to A&E or call 111 for an ambulance) if you or someone you are caring for shows any of the warning signs in the table above.
If you have had a concussion, or think you have a concussion, it needs to be taken seriously. See your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following signs of concussion.
Some immediate signs of a concussion include someone who:
- appears dazed
- is confused
- has poor balance and lack of coordination
- answers questions slowly
- runs in the wrong direction
- forgets events that occurred before and after impact
- loses consciousness – but it is important to remember that a person can have a concussion without losing consciousness
- is seen falling to the ground like a rag doll after a hit, with no signs of trying to protect themselves in the fall
- displays seizure-like activity.
A person complaining of the following symptoms may also have had a concussion:
- double or blurred vision
- fatigue (tiredness) – usually more tired than they would be after the event
- poor concentration
- difficulty remembering things
- sleep difficulties, either getting to sleep, waking through the night or longer sleep periods
- emotional changes including irritability, sadness, tearful sensitivity to noise and light
- feeling slowed down as if things around you are going faster and you cannot keep up
- lightheaded and dizziness
- feeling off balance, like you are on a rocking boat
Not every sign and symptom will be present in every person and some may not appear for hours or days following a head injury.
Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary. But if you don't let your brain fully recover after an injury, a concussion can lead to permanent damage.