ZocdocAnswersDo concussions cause brain damage?

Question

Do concussions cause brain damage?

I fell on my back really hard playing football a few weeks back, and my head bounced off the ground. I'm pretty sure I had a concussion, and I have had a little problems since then with my vision. Could this cause permanent damage to my brain if I didn't have a doctor check me out?

Answer

If you hit your head during athletic activity, you should definitely be evaluated by a physician to make sure that there is no immediate injury but also to determine when it is safe for you to return to your sports activities. With the symptoms you describe you should seek immediate medical attention, at an urgent care center or emergency department if necessary. Head injuries with *any* kind of lasting symptom are not to be taken lightly and you need to be evaluated by a physician to make sure that you don't need any further imaging or testing. In more general terms, head injuries including concussions can cause several problems with the brain. First, head injuries can put you at risk for bleeding around the lining of the brain. This can put pressure on parts of the brain which can be very serious. Second, concussions can cause a wide variety of short and long-term effects, including headache, cloudiness of thinking, confusion, and even some short-term memory loss. In addition, more and more accumulating evidence is suggesting that repeated concussions such as those suffered by football players can lead to long-term brain damage. For this reason, it is very important for amateur athletes to be evaluated by a physician following any kind of head injury to determine when (if at all) it is safe for them to return to sport. Again, please discuss this issue with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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