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Concussion Patient with Doctor

Receiving prompt care from a neurologist is crucial if you have a concussion. Call our team at 877-465-7360 for assistance. 

Concussions are a common traumatic brain injury involving a direct blow to the head. The head injury occurs because the hit causes the brain to move from its normal position briefly. The condition can be mild and your recovery is quick however; what happens when a concussion is serious? 

Visiting a neurologist in NYC offers the best way to know if you have a severe concussion and receive the appropriate treatment. At Medical Clinics of New York City, our skilled neurologists offer comprehensive services to treat neurological conditions in patients throughout NYC, including Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

The following is a discussion about concussions and what to look for when the condition is severe. 

What Are the Common Causes of a Concussion?

As a soft organ, your brain requires stabilization in your skull to prevent it from shaking back and forth. It receives protection from the cerebrospinal fluid that fills the space between the skull and the brain.

Cerebrospinal fluid can usually protect from typical bumps and quick head movements. However, the risk of concussions increases with a violent blow to your head, neck, or upper body that forces your brain to bounce off and hit the skull’s inner walls. 

Physical activities like football or other high-impact sports can commonly result in a concussion. Car accidents are another common cause of concussions. The sudden acceleration/deceleration of an auto collision can shake the brain inside the head violently. 

Other concussion risk factors include:

  • Falling
  • Engaging in combat as a soldier
  • Being a victim of physical abuse
  • Having a previous concussion
  • Work-related injuries


The problem with concussions is that the brief brain movement will affect the organ’s function. Mild concussions usually have temporary effects like excessive drowsiness, headache, and confusion. A head injury could also lead to bleeding in the brain or skull, which could be fatal. It is extremely important to get evaluated when an injury to the head has occurred.

Types and Symptoms of Concussions

When exploring the answer to “when is a concussion serious,” it’s necessary to know about the different types of concussions. Concussions fall into three categories: grade one, grade two, and grade three. 

Grade One Concussions

Grade one concussions are mild, but you could still experience symptoms with them. Typical symptoms include short-term memory loss, nausea, and vertigo. Grade one concussion symptoms usually pass after several days, at which you could return to daily activities. 

Most people with grade one concussions don’t lose consciousness when they sustain their head injury. You could get them by participating in impact sports or minor auto collisions. 

Grade Two Concussions

Moderate concussions have similarities to mild grade-one concussions. However, injured people will fall under this category when they briefly lose consciousness when they sustain the injury. Consider a brief loss of consciousness as between one and five minutes. 

Grade two concussions come with the same symptoms as mild concussions. People may also have ringing in the ears and irritability. You will need to rest for several days to recover from a grade two concussion before resuming physical activities. 

Grade Three Concussions

The most severe concussions include the grade three category. Your injury must render you unconscious for longer than five minutes to fit this category. It could take weeks for the symptoms to subside, increasing the risk of permanent brain damage.

9 Symptoms of Severe Concussions

Some grade three concussion symptoms will develop immediately after regaining consciousness. For instance, you might be forgetful when you wake up. However, other symptoms may develop over hours or days due to brain injury. 

When you have a severe concussion, the most common symptoms include:

  1. Unequal pupil sizes
  2. Unusual behavior like restlessness or agitation 
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Physical weakness or slurred speech
  5. Amnesia over 24 hours
  6. Seeing stars
  7. Vomiting or nausea
  8. Seizures or convulsions
  9. Severe dizziness with loss of balance


Regardless of a concussion’s severity, you should always seek medical attention. Even grade one and grade two concussions could lead to potentially fatal complications without medical intervention.

If you lose consciousness for longer than five minutes after injuring your head, go to a hospital immediately or call 911. You should also go to the hospital if you have worsening symptoms days after a minor head injury. 

Types of Concussion Complications

Brain bleeds are not the only potential complications. If you have a concussion, the injury could result in the following:

  • Post-Traumatic Headaches or Vertigo: It’s common for people with concussions to have headaches or feelings of spinning or dizziness. Headaches relating to concussions could last for a week, but dizziness could last for months. 
  • Post-Concussive Syndrome: Up to 20% of people have concussion-related symptoms for over three weeks. By the three-month mark, they become persistent post-concussive symptoms or post-concussive syndrome.
  • Second Impact Syndrome: On rare occasions, having two concussions in your lifetime may cause fatal brain swelling. Anyone with a concussion in their medical history should be cautious about participating in physical activities that could lead to additional head injuries.

Severe Concussion Treatment Options

You will undergo a neurological exam when you seek treatment for a concussion. The doctor will ask about the injury and check your reflexes, vision, strength, balance, and coordination. They may also test your cognitive function, including your memory and concentration. 

Treatment for concussions includes plenty of rest to allow the brain to recover. The rest extends to physical and mental activity, meaning you should not do many activities that require physical movement or concentration. For instance, you should not watch television, do homework, or text on your phone.

Seek Concussion Treatment From Medical Clinics of New York City

Concussion Treatment in NYC

Knowing the answer to “when is a concussion serious” is the first step toward recovery. If you experience severe concussion symptoms, your second step is to contact Medical Clinics of New York City. Our neurologists and medical staff dedicate themselves to providing quality care throughout multiple offices in NYC. We tailor our treatments to accommodate each patient’s unique needs. Our doctors accept no-fault insurance, PIP, workers’ compensation, and most health insurance plans.

Now that you know about concussion symptoms; learn about the signs of a brain injury after a car accident here. Call our team to request an appointment at 877-465-7360. Same-day appointments may be available.

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