How to Spot the Signs of a Concussion

By: Brandon Hockenberry, MD

May 04, 2023

kid with red shirt playing baseball

Concussions are an unfortunate occurrence in youth sports and other physical activities. Learning the signs now will help you respond if you suspect that someone near you has suffered a concussion.

A concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can occur after any injury to the head/neck area. It’s important to seek the appropriate level of care if they occur. Brandon Hockenberry, MD with Renown Sports Medicine shares tips on concussion signs to look for and what to do next.

Look for these Dangerous Signs First

Call 911 or visit an ER right away if you notice one of the following in the person who suffered a blow to the head or body:

  • One pupil is larger than the other
  • Severe or worsening headaches
  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up, including any period of unconsciousness
  • Slurred speech, weakness, numbness or decreased coordination
  • Multiple episodes of vomiting
  • Convulsions, shaking or twitching
  • Monitor for Concussion Signs and Symptoms

    If someone suffers a bump, blow or other jolt, it’s important to look out for changing symptoms. Symptoms can continue to evolve for up to 24 hours after the injury. Seek care from your primary care provider, an urgent care or a sports medicine provider if you notice any of the following:

  • Cannot recall events prior to or after the incident
  • Appears confused or disoriented
  • Clumsy movements
  • Slow reaction, including movements and speech
  • Changes to normal behavior or mood
  • You should also question the person about how they are feeling. If they report any of the following symptoms, seek care:

  • Headache or feelings of pressure in their head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Problems with eyesight, such as blurriness or double vision
  • Increase sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sluggishness, or feelings described as “hazy” or “foggy”
  • Struggles with remembering or concentration
  • Just “not feeling right”
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