Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Sometimes, symptoms of a brain injury will appear right away, and sometimes they will appear over the course of several hours or even days. It is important to be aware of changes signaling trauma to the brain and to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury (also called concussion)

TBI Hit Your Head Graphic
  • Low-grade headache that won’t go away
  • Having more trouble than usual remembering things
  • Difficulty concentrating, organizing daily tasks or making decisions and solving problems
  • Having trouble thinking of the right word to say
  • Feeling dazed or foggy
  • Feeling tired all of the time, lack of energy or motivation
  • Feeling irritable, having sudden emotional outbursts
  • Change in work or school performance
  • Change in sleep pattern—sleeping much longer than before, having trouble sleeping
  • Loss of balance, feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Increased sensitivity to light and noise
  • Blurred vision or any changes in vision
  • Ringing in the ears

In young children, you may also see uncontrollable crying and/or a refusal to nurse or eat.

If you have symptoms of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury call 911 right away. Those symptoms may be:

  • Sudden severe headache / worst headache of your life
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • One or both pupils of the eye get larger
  • Slurred speech or inability to speak
  • Inability to move one side of the body
  • Severe confusion, restlessness or agitation

In young children, you may also see uncontrollable crying and/or a refusal to nurse or eat.