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A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when your brain is physically jolted inside your skull. In many cases, it bumps against your skull, causing mild to significant trauma depending on how hard you hit your head. While some people who suffer a concussion lose consciousness briefly when it happens, that is not a key indicator of concussion.

Since symptoms may not appear right away, it is important to know what to watch for.

Severe or chronic headache

If you have had a headache that will not go away, even with an over-the-counter pain reliever, or a headache so severe that it interferes with your ability to complete daily tasks, it may be the result of a concussion.

Communication difficulties

A concussion can interfere with your ability to communicate effectively. Not only can it cause you to slur your speech and forget words, but it can also disrupt your understanding of language, your verbal processing skills and your ability to reason a response. Persistent ringing in your ears might contribute as well.

Psychological effects

Concussions can interfere with your psychological well-being as well. As with other types of brain trauma, you might feel restless, irritable or inattentive. Sleep difficulties and sensitivity to normal levels of light and sound can contribute to your struggles as well.

A concussion is a serious injury that needs medical attention. Be mindful of these symptoms following any kind of accident, even if you did not directly hit your head. Concussions can occur from surprising situations, so never rule it out if you experience symptoms.