Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of concussions differ for each person and with each injury. Symptoms may not be noticeable right away and may develop in the hours or days following an injury, or when the demands of regular life are resumed. It is important that you contact your doctor right away if you develop symptoms. If you have suffered a blow to the head, neck or body and you aren't "feeling like yourself" or "normal," seek medical help from a specialist who has experience in recognizing and managing concussion.

Eighty to ninety percent of people with a concussion recover quickly and fully, but for some people, symptoms can last for weeks and even months. Older adults, young children and teens usually take the longest to recover from concussions. In addition, if you have suffered a concussion in the past, you are at a greater risk of having another one, and may find that it takes longer to recover.

Common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty remembering or paying attention
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Feeling irritable, more emotional or "down"
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Sleep problems (sleeping more than usual, less than usual or having trouble falling asleep)
  • Loss of consciousness

You may find that your symptoms reappear or get worse when you are doing something that requires a lot of concentration, such as working, studying or playing video games, or doing physically demanding activities, such as sports, exercising or house cleaning.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Sports Concussion Program
1500 Owens St., Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-1915
Fax: (415) 514-6075
Appointment information