What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine x-rays, CT scans or MRIs. Any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that jars the head, could cause a concussion.
A concussion may start to improve within 10-14 days, but may last longer. If you have had a concussion before, you may take longer to heal the next time.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Symptoms of a concussion can appear immediately or a few days after the impact. Concussions can appear as a variety of symptoms, and each person might experience concussion in a different way. It is typical to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Red Flag Symptoms

If any red flag symptoms are present, get medical help immediately. Red Flag symptoms include:

  • Person complains of neck pain
  • Deteriorating conscious state
  • Increasing confusion or irritability
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unusual behaviour change
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling / burning in arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • “Pressure in the head”
  • Headache
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Neck pain
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irritability
  • Nervous or anxious
  • More emotional
  • Feeling like in a “fog”
  • “Don’t feel right”
  • Sadness
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Amnesia
  • Insomnia – unable to sleep
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sleeping too much


Information above has been adapted with permission from Parachute Canada