Understanding Concussions: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options


Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow to the head, sudden jolt, or violent shaking of the head and body. While concussions are often considered minor injuries, they can have significant short-term and long-term effects on brain function and overall health. Say’s Dr. Samuel Clanton,  understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for concussions is essential for proper management and recovery. This article provides an overview of concussions, including their symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options.

 Symptoms of Concussions

Concussions can present with a wide range of symptoms that may vary in severity and duration. Common symptoms of concussions include:

– Headache or pressure in the head

– Dizziness or loss of balance

– Nausea or vomiting

– Fatigue or drowsiness

– Confusion or difficulty concentrating

– Memory problems or amnesia

– Sensitivity to light or noise

– Blurred vision or double vision

– Slurred speech

– Changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability or depression

– Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual

It is important to note that symptoms of a concussion may not always appear immediately following the injury and may worsen over time. In some cases, individuals may experience delayed onset of symptoms hours or even days after the initial injury.

 Diagnosis of Concussions

Diagnosing a concussion typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, such as a physician or neurologist. The evaluation may include:

– A detailed medical history, including information about the injury and any symptoms experienced

– A physical examination, including tests of neurological function, balance, coordination, and cognitive abilities

– Neurological tests, such as the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) or Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC)

– Imaging studies, such as computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, to rule out more severe brain injuries, such as skull fractures or intracranial bleeding

In some cases, additional tests or evaluations may be necessary to assess the extent of brain injury or to monitor for complications.

 Treatment Options for Concussions

The primary goals of treatment for concussions are to manage symptoms, prevent complications, and promote recovery. Treatment options for concussions may include:

– Rest: Physical and cognitive rest is essential in the acute phase of a concussion to allow the brain to heal. This may involve reducing or avoiding activities that worsen symptoms, such as screen time, reading, or physical exertion.

– Symptom management: Medications may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or dizziness. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any medications, as some medications may exacerbate symptoms or interfere with the healing process.

– Cognitive rehabilitation: For individuals experiencing cognitive difficulties or memory problems following a concussion, cognitive rehabilitation therapy may be recommended to improve cognitive function and facilitate recovery.

– Gradual return to activity: Once symptoms have resolved or significantly improved, a gradual return to normal activities, including work, school, and physical exercise, may be initiated under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

In cases of more severe or prolonged symptoms, referral to a specialist, such as a concussion clinic or neurologist, may be necessary for further evaluation and management.


Concussions are a common type of traumatic brain injury that can have significant implications for brain health and overall well-being. Recognizing the symptoms of concussions, obtaining an accurate diagnosis, and implementing appropriate treatment options are essential for ensuring optimal outcomes and promoting recovery. By understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for concussions, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their brain health and minimize the potential impact of these injuries.

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