Concussions | Signs & Symptoms

    It’s back to school time, and for parents of athletes, back to sports. As part of our “We’re Sports Nuts” initiative to talk to area athletes about sports injuries, we wanted to take a moment to discuss concussions. Concussions made big news over the past few years, and RMI is ready to do its part to help with imaging exams should your loved one become injured.

    Concussions, as we’ve all read and heard, can be a silent and unseen threat. And the effects can be devastating – from ongoing vertigo and dizziness, to impairment, to fatal brain swelling.

    You need to know what to look for, and RMI radiologist Dr. Dilraj Ghumann has these important thoughts:

    What is a concussion?

    A concussion is an injury to the brain that can cause a variety of symptoms. It’s usually caused by a blow to the head, but can sometimes be caused by sudden head movement due to a blow to the body. Most of the time it doesn’t involve a loss of consciousness.

    What are some signs of a concussion?

    Talk to your doctor if your child has any of the following signs of concussion:

    • Headache
    • Vision disturbance
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of balance
    • Confusion
    • Memory loss (amnesia)
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Nausea
    • Feeling foggy or groggy
    • Sensitivity to light or noise

    What other signs should I watch out for?

    Tell your doctor if your child has any of the following symptoms:

    • Stiff neck
    • Difficulty walking, speaking or using your arms
    • Severe headache
    • Repeated vomiting
    • Confusion that gets worse
    • Convulsions
    • Unusual sleepiness

    How are concussions diagnosed?

    First a doctor will examine you. The doctor will want information from people who were present when you were injured. This is very important, especially if you’re confused or if you lost your memory.

    The doctor will also test your strength, sensation, balance, reflexes and memory. In more serious cases, your doctor will want to get imaging – an MRI is the most sensitive imaging study.

    Contributed by
    Dr. Dilraj Ghumman, M.D.
    Regional Medical Imaging radiologist