A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that happens when your brain violently strikes the inside of your skull. A concussion can affect your brain function and can cause permanent problems.
Your brain is surrounded by thick cerebrospinal fluid that protects your brain from harmful contact. Significant head movements can force your brain through the thick fluid and into the structures inside your skull. Blows to the head, violent shakes, falls, tackles, and the back and forth head movement in car crashes can all cause concussions. When your brain contacts the inside of your skull, delicate tissues get bruised or severed, causing bleeding, swelling, and pressure.
Concussions have a wide range of symptoms, including loss of consciousness, confusion, and fatigue. You may feel dizzy or nauseous, or hear ringing in your ears. You may have trouble remembering things or tolerating a normal amount of light or sound.
Do not dismiss signs of concussion, as any brain injury is serious. While some concussions heal naturally, others require medical intervention. Report the matter to a doctor quickly and follow the medical advice you are given. You may be referred for imaging or to a neurologist or other medical specialist who treats conditions of the brain.