Skip to main content
Get Care MyChart Find a Provider Find a Location

Concussions happen quite frequently which may leave you wondering if they’re really a big deal. The answer is a resounding yes!

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)—and every injury to the brain is significant. Brain injuries can have a long-lasting impact on your life. So, it’s important to see a specialist if you suffer a blow to the head, a fall, whiplash or notice symptoms of a head injury.

Concussion symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a concussion usually happen right away, but they can show up hours or days after the injury. Not everyone with a concussion needs to be taken to the emergency room, but they should still be seen by a healthcare provider.

Symptoms include:

  • Balance problems or lack of coordination
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty at work or school
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Headache
  • Irritability, sadness or nervousness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Mental fogginess or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Personality changes
  • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble remembering or concentrating

When to go to the ER for concussion

It’s critical to call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department if you have any of these symptoms following a head injury:

  • Confusion or irritability that gets worse
  • Irregular heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, etc.
  • Headache that gets worse
  • Memory loss
  • Passing out or not responding to you
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Suspected spine injury, skull fracture or bleeding

Don’t take any chances with a head injury

Gundersen has specialists on staff who are trained in evaluating and treating concussion in children and adults—as well as determining when it’s safe for athletes to return to activity.

Most concussions heal within a few days or weeks. The key to recovery is rest, limiting demanding activities, avoiding alcohol and avoiding activities that could lead to another blow to the head.

If you’re still having symptoms of a concussion after three weeks, Gundersen’s Traumatic Brain Injury Team is here to help adults. Children should be evaluated by a pediatric neurologist.

Related articles

woman sick in bed covid

The asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of COVID-19

By Megan Meller, Infection Preventionist Join GundersenENGAGE Anyone can spread COVID-19 before realizing they’re infected. You’re infectious for up to two days before you notice symptoms. This is called pre-symptomatic

Is it possible to 'shorten' a cold?

While there's no cure for the common cold, there are some ways to treat symptoms and possibly reduce the duration of the virus.

Sunscreen options: A guide for keeping your skin happy, healthy & protected

Sunscreen is the most effective way to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, which are the primary cause for premature aging. With so many options available though, it’s not
An elderly man and his disabled wife with tablet indoors, explaining how to take medication.

How can I quit using tobacco?

More than 8 million people die each year from tobacco. While it’s not easy, quitting can help you live a healthier and longer life. “Quitting is the best thing you

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

Language Support:
Jump back to top