An athlete who has experienced a head injury or concussion may have signs and symptoms that do not become apparent until hours after the initial traumatic event. Signs and symptoms may present differently from individual to individual.

At the time of injury, hospitalization may not have been required. However, you should be alert for possible signs and symptoms in the athlete.

Seek medical attention immediately if you observe any changes of these symptoms:

  • Headache (especially one that increases in intensity) or headache that is persistent
  • Any period of loss of consciousness
  • Seizure activity
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness, lethargy or sleepiness
  • Memory deficits
  • Mental confusion and disorientation or inability to focus attention (easily distracted)
  • Emotions out of proportion to circumstances
  • Delayed verbal and motor responses or slurred speech
  • Feeling "foggy"
  • Gross observable lack of coordination (such as changes in gait or balance)
  • Vacant stare (puzzled facial expressions)
  • Blurry or double vision
  • One pupil larger than the other from right to left eye, or dilated pupils
  • Bleeding and/or clear fluid from the nose or ears
  • Ringing in the ears

The best guideline is to note symptoms that worsen and behaviors that seem to represent a change in you or your loved one. If you have any question or concern about the symptoms you are observing, contact your family physician for instructions, or seek medical attention at the closest emergency department.

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