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Health & Wellness

How to Know If You Have a Concussion

by Asma Khan, MD, HRHCare Urgent Care, Nyack
Whether you slipped shoveling snow or took a tumble in the ice rink, a blow to the head can really hurt! But how do you know whether to just brush off the snow or head to your local HRHCare Urgent Care to get concussion treatment?

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic injury that happens when your brain is jarred or shaken inside your skull. Contrary to popular opinion, you can have a concussion without losing consciousness. In fact, there may be no outward signs that you have one at all. Symptoms may appear right after an injury, or may not become apparent for a few days, or even weeks.


Symptoms of a concussion usually fall into one of four categories:

  • Cognitive – These symptoms include difficulty thinking clearly, remembering new information, trouble concentrating, or just the general sense that it’s taking you a little longer to process things than normal. These symptoms are usually more easily recognized by other people than the person who is concussed.
  • Physical – If you have a minor headache, that’s normal for any time you bump your head. However, if the headache worsens and you notice changes to your vision or balance, feel dizzy or nauseous, or begin vomiting, you may have a concussion
  • Emotional – Someone who is concussed may feel angry, irritable, upset, or simply more emotional in general. Unexplained bouts of sadness, nervousness, or anxiety are also potential signs
  • Sleep-Related – Take note of anything that is different from your usual sleep routine. This could include increased difficulty in falling asleep, sleeping more than usual, or sleeping less

Concussions: what you need to know

Concussions are relatively common, and most people recover quickly with treatment. If you have had a concussion, take it easy for a few days after getting treatment. Even though you may feel better, your brain needs time to heal.
If you have multiple episodes of vomiting, lose consciousness for more than 30 seconds, have a severe headache, begin slurring your speech, experience a seizure, or have dilated pupils, see your doctor immediately. Chances are, you have a concussion.
Try not to slip and fall this winter – but when in doubt about a head injury, come see us at HRHCare Urgent Care Nyack!

Asma Khan, MD, is the Clinical Director at HRHCare Urgent Care, 84 N Highland Ave between High Street and Sickles Ave in Nyack. Along with offices in Haverstraw and Spring Valley, the facility is part of the 28 health center HRHCare network in the Hudson Valley and Long Island providing comprehensive primary care.

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