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By On June 12th, 2018

5 Concussion Symptoms You May Not Know

These days, most people are aware of the most common signs of concussion – dizziness, nausea, confusion, and the classic (but surprisingly rare) loss of consciousness. However, concussions are complex injuries that can present themselves uniquely in each instance.

While many will experience symptoms like dizziness and nausea, others may experience subtler or less commonplace symptoms.

To help you be prepared to identify a concussion even when it doesn’t look like what you’d expect, today I wanted to share a few surprising symptoms of concussions to keep an eye out for after a head impact.

Mood swings

Following a concussion, it is not abnormal for an individual to experience significant changes in mood, including irritability, anger, feelings of depression, or increased anxiety. Interestingly, these symptoms are tied to another surprising effect of concussions that we will cover next – sensitivity to light. According to the American Association of Neurology, those who experience sensitivity to light are more likely to experience more significant emotional symptoms.

Sensitivity to light or vision changes

Despite being a more recognized effect of concussions, little is known about why vision changes frequently follow head trauma. Nonetheless, it is well documented that concussions can cause a number of vision changes, including sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, abnormal motion tracking, and other problems. It is suspected that head injuries may cause a disruption in regions of the brain related to vision or pain-sensitivity.

Sensitivity to noise

Similar to the sensitivity to light experienced by many with concussions, some brain injury patients also report sensitivity to loud noises that cause significant pain or distress. This can make it difficult to continue to function in a typical work or school environment and can be highly disruptive to the day-to-day life of a person.

Balance issues

While balance issues aren’t commonly mentioned after a concussion, there is a reason that most doctors will begin their concussion assessment by attempting to lightly push an individual. Concussions can cause an issue with the feedback between the ears and brain, which leads to balance issues. A person with a concussion may also stumble more frequently or experience issues walking in a straight line for this reason.

Memory loss or amnesia

Forgetfulness is a widely known symptom of concussions, but most do not recognize that this is particularly pronounced around the time of the injury. Many will experience confusion about or be unable to recall the events that led to their concussion, especially if the fall included loss of consciousness. While this can be frightening, it is a short-term symptom that typically resolves itself in a relatively short span of time.

 

Concussions are not “one-size-fits-all”. They can look very different depending on the severity of the injury and the regions of the brain affected. This is why it is important to be familiar with all the signs and be able to spot when something is wrong.

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