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How do you recognize the signs of a concussion?

A:

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Common symptoms of a concussion include difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly, fatigue, blurred vision and sensitivity to light, balance issues, nausea or vomiting, anxiety or irritability and a disturbance in sleeping patterns, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can last for days or weeks.

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An individual who has incurred a concussive injury also can present these symptoms: feeling mentally slow, difficulty processing new information, headache, sadness, emotional instability and trouble falling asleep, states the CDC. These symptoms can be immediate, such as nausea or vomiting right after the impact, while other symptoms can take months to be recognized. Often a symptom goes unnoticed until the individual resumes the demands of everyday life and struggles to complete routine tasks.

A concussion can be difficult to diagnose by health care providers because a concussed individual can appear normal even though they are functioning differently, the CDC states.

In the rare case of a blood clot forming as a result of a concussion, the individual may show weakness or numbness, repeated nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, difficulty identifying common people or places, convulsions or seizures, loss of consciousness or an enlarged pupil in only one eye, the CDC states. In children, these symptoms, along with an inability to be consoled when crying or inability to nurse or feed may occur. In these extreme cases, for either adults or children, seek immediate medical attention.

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