Concussion Side Effects

Important Facts about Side Effects of Concussion

One of the Three Stooges getting bonked on the head is cause for hilarity by the viewing audience, but is certainly no laughing matter in real life; especially when the side effects of concussion are experienced by the injured individual.

What it is

Concussion is a term used for a temporary change in the operation of a brain when it has been jarred or moved within the skull.  The movement occurs as result of some type of blow to the head.  When the blow is hard enough, it can actually cause the brain to shift suddenly; coming in contact with the bony skull structure that exists to protect it.  Symptoms of concussion can include feeling dazed or confused, seeing stars or being rendered unconscious for any period of time.

The length of concussion can vary, but the seriousness of the condition is not determined by how long it lasts.  The degree of the condition can also vary, between a mild concussion and a severe concussion.  In many cases, those who experience a mild concussion will return to normal quickly.  Severe cases, however, such as those which occur after a serious accident or fall, are considered to be a medical emergency and require immediate hospitalization.

How they happen

Participating in sports activities provides a common risk for concussion.  Playground activities, playing football, soccer and more are the most frequently seen activities that can cause brain injuries for children.  Motor vehicles accidents and bike accidents also contribute to the occurrence of many of these injuries in both children and adults.  Virtually any activity that could result in a blow to the head can cause concussion.

Many people who are hit in the head or fall and strike their head on a hard surface simply get up and shake it off.  It is important to watch for certain side effects of concussion when such an injury occurs, however, that may signal the existence of a more serious problem.

After effects

In most cases of mild concussion, brain function returns to normal within just a short time.  However, there are symptoms that may not be immediately noticeable until hours, days or even weeks after the incident.  It is estimated that approximately 50% of individuals are at risk for experiencing some type of post concussion symptoms (PCS).  Precise symptoms can vary widely from person to person, as well as from adults to children.  For adults, the manifestations can include persistent headaches, irritability, depression, fatigue, decreased attention spans, diminished memory, dizziness, nausea, weakness and tinnitus.

Children who have had concussion may experience aggressive behavior, become withdrawn and have sleep issues.  Their vision may become impaired, and headaches, nausea, sleepiness and confusion could be experienced.


Both adults and children can begin to exhibit difficulties in their ability to process information.  Inability to concentrate or focus on what once were normal and easy tasks is also noted, but generally not immediately linked to the injury by the individual.  In addition, emotional upheaval may be felt, including feelings of anxiety and fear.  The individual may develop an intolerance of being in crowds or being around constant noise.

Reasons for side effects of concussion

In many cases, the symptoms experienced days or even weeks after the concussion occurred are caused by decreased blood circulation in the cerebral hemisphere or neuronal damage to the brainstem.  If undetected bleeding has occurred as result of the head injury, pressure from the buildup of fluids against the brain will also be presented through these symptoms.

While every individual faces the risk of head injury, it is most prevalent in those who participate in sports activities.  Although many people disregard the potential seriousness of such an injury, any blow to the head should be taken seriously to avoid recurring problems.