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Neuroscience Institute

Brain and Spine

General Content

What is a Concussion?


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not; if untreated, a concussion can result in serious, sometimes prolonged symptoms.  Symptoms can begin right away or a few days after the concussion. The experts at Rochester Regional Health's Concussion Program answered some of the most frequently asked questions about concussion below. 

Why Are Concussions So Dangerous?

A concussion can cause significant impairment without the person losing consciousness. If a second concussion occurs before the first one has passed, serious or permanent cognitive, behavioral and physical changes can occur.

What Causes a Concussion?

Concussions can be caused by a blow to the head or a sudden acceleration/deceleration event. Any athlete in any sport can be at risk of a concussion.  Concussions can also occur from falls, MVA.

How is a Concussion Diagnosed?

Common symptoms can begin immediately or after a few days. A formal diagnosis requires a thorough evaluation by a doctor experienced in concussion.

Know When to Get Help For Your Concussion

If you or someone you know experiences any of the following after a blow to the head, body or whiplash injury get help immediately:

  • Headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Significant drowsiness
  • Unusual sensitivity to light or noise
  • Vision changes
  • Neck pain
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Sudden memory problems
  • Repeating the same words or phrase
  • Feeling “in a fog”
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Personality changes
  • Increased irritability
  • Seizure activity

Learn about the Concussion Program at Rochester Regional Health

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