Between sports injuries, falls and car accidents, concussions occur often, and they may seem like non-serious injuries. However, a concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury, and it may have lasting consequences. Sometimes the symptoms of a concussion are difficult to see, but it is important to be able to recognize the signs and know when to seek medical care.
According to the CDC, most people who experience a mild TBI (concussion) eventually recover from the symptoms of the injury. However, it may take several weeks or even longer for all the symptoms to vanish, especially if you have had TBI in the past. Older adults, young children and teenagers may also experience prolonged recovery times.
The CDC states that the signs of a concussion generally fall into one of four different categories: physical, emotional, cognitive and sleep. A concussion may make it hard to fall asleep, or you may tend to oversleep in the wake of a mild TBI. Cognitive problems may include difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions or remembering things.
There are also physical concussion signs. You may experience dizziness, light sensitivity or prolonged headaches. Blurry vision, balance issues and lack of energy are other physical symptoms of a concussion. It may be more difficult to recognize the emotional symptoms of a mild TBI. However, if you notice mood swings, irritability, sadness or anxiety, especially if these feelings last for a long time, you may want to contact your health care provider.
While most concussion symptoms, especially nausea, sleep problems and headaches, may occur right away after the injury, there is a chance that other symptoms do not appear for weeks or months. After a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention whenever you notice unexplained symptoms.