What is a Concussion?

Symptoms of a concussion

A concussion is an injury to the brain most often caused by a direct blow or jolt to the head or body.

This impact causes the head to rapidly change direction and as a result, "shakes" the brain. This violent movement causes a "short circuiting" of the normal working of the brain cells and affects the way they communicate with each other. Think of it like a navigation system leading you to the wrong routes -- a concussion causes an abnormal functioning of the brain that can lead to a variety of symptoms.

What to Look For

You do not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. In fact, most people who have a concussion are never actually knocked unconscious.

Every person is different in regards to the signs and symptoms of concussion. And it certainly does not help that it is often difficult to recognize the head injury that causes a concussion.

The most common physical symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling off-balance or having difficulty maintaining balance
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound (For example: hearing music on the radio may give you a headache)
  • Blurred vision or difficulty seeing
  • A slower reaction time than usual

Read on to learn more about the symptoms of a concussion.