A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Though concussions usually aren't life-threatening, the effects can still be serious.
Find out how much you know about concussions.
True or false: It's not always easy to tell when someone has had a concussion.
True. Signs of concussion can be subtle or even not show up for hours or days after the event. You might notice these signs in someone who's had a concussion:
Trouble recalling events before or after a hit or fall.
Appearing dazed or stunned.
Forgetting an instruction or being unsure of the game, score or opponent.
Answering questions slowly.
Losing consciousness, even for a brief time.
Showing mood, behavior or personality changes.
Someone who's had a concussion may also simply report that they "don't feel right" after a bump, blow or jolt.
True or false: Young athletes who appear to experience a concussion during a game should always be taken out of play right away.
True. If you suspect your child has had a concussion, take them out of play and call your healthcare provider. Your provider will tell you whether you should come in or take your child to the emergency room for care. Your child should not return to play until they've been cleared by your provider. Returning to play too soon increases the risk of a repeat concussion, which could cause permanent brain damage.
True or false: Concussions are always caused by a hard blow directly to the head.
False. A concussion happens when the brain is shaken within the skull. This can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a blow to the body that makes the head and brain move rapidly back and forth.
True or false: Most concussions are the result of sports injury.
False. Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal concussions. Other causes include:
A sports injury to the head or neck.
Physical abuse or assault during which the head is shaken.
A direct blow to the head, face or neck.
Being too close to a blast or explosion.
True or false: Treatment for a concussion includes giving your brain a rest.
True. Rest helps the brain to heal. Someone who's had a recent concussion should limit both physical and mental activities. That may mean not returning to work or school for several days.
You can gradually return to normal activities. But if your symptoms return with activity, you should follow up with your doctor. You may need to take more time to rest and recover.
Your brain is the most complex part of your body. Are you ready to learn more about how it works?