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While concussions are often discussed in the same context as touchdowns and tackles, they can affect more than just football players.

Overview of Concussions

Concussions happen when a sudden blow or bump to the head interrupts normal brain activity and disturbs the way your brain works; they can often occur following car accidents, falls, or other contact sports.


Concussions can leave you feeling confused, dazed, and may make it difficult to remember the events surrounding your injury. Additional symptoms may appear within the first few days after the injury occurs. Many symptoms may go away on their own, however others may indicate more serious complications.

It is important to be aware of concussion symptoms, and to talk to a doctor following any head injuries. You should not be alone following a concussion, ask someone stay with you for at least 24 hours following your injury to watch for warning sings.

Common symptoms to watch for include headaches, unusual fatigue and exhaustion, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, pain in the head or neck, and sensitivity to light and sound. Someone should call 911 or take you to the emergency room if you 1) fall asleep and cannot be woken up, 2) are confused and begin to act strange, 3) continue to have difficulty remembering events, 4) have blurry or double vision, or 5) slur your speech.

Other serious symptoms include an inability to control bladder or bowels, sudden or worsening nausea, tingling in the limbs, and bleeding or fluid dripping from nose or ears.

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Following an injury to the head with accompanying symptoms, you should consult with a physician who specializes in concussions. Concussions can differ in severity and loss of consciousness, and a physician can help monitor recovery and prevent further complications.

Your doctor may advise a series of actions to help you return to life as normal. You can expect to sleep longer than usual and take brief naps while returning to your normal routine. Avoid strenuous activities that may inflict further injury and hinder recovery, including most sports and anything that requires balance or may put you at risk of falling. A second concussion occurring before you have recovered could cause permanent brain damage or even death. Avoid driving, and busy, stimulating environments.

Intermountain relies on expert physicians and applies advanced technology to better diagnosis concussions, identify the severity, and to build a personalized recovery and treatment plan. Contact your Intermountain physician or find an Intermountain facility near you to learn more.