What is a concussion?

A concussion is a short-term, mild head injury that temporarily disrupts the way your brain functions. You do not have to lose consciousness to have experienced a concussion.

What causes a concussion?

A concussion can happen from a direct blow to the head or an impact to other parts of your body which causes your head to move suddenly.

Some common causes of concussions include sporting injuries, car accidents or falls.

Symptoms of concussion

Every concussion injury is unique and can involve many different symptoms. Symptoms can appear immediately after the injury or anywhere from days to weeks later.

Symptoms that need urgent attention

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to your nearest emergency department immediately:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Worsening headache
  • Ongoing vomiting
  • Problems with speech
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Increased confusion

You can access 24-hour emergency at Epworth Richmond and Epworth Geelong.

Early treatment and education can reduce long-term symptoms of a concussion occurring.

Common symptoms

These can be grouped into four categories: physical, thinking, sleep and emotional symptoms.



  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Changes to your vision


  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Problems thinking of the exact word to say
  • Memory problems or forgetfulness
  • Feeling slowed down


  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Other changes to your normal sleeping patterns


  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness
  • Other changes in mood, emotions or behaviour


We are committed to providing you with the highest quality of care, including a thorough assessment of your concussion.

If a concussion is suspected, your doctor may arrange the following assessments to confirm the severity:

  • Physical exam to check your balance, reflexes and coordination
  • Neurological exam to test your memory
  • Imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI
  • Symptoms assessment
Neurology and neurosurgery

Get referred

To receive a diagnosis or treatment from an Epworth specialist, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your GP and request a referral.

Treatment and management

Once the concussion has been diagnosed, our committed Epworth team will work with you and your family to create a treatment plan aimed to effectively manage your symptoms.

Your Epworth specialist may suggest the following to help manage and reduce the impact of your symptoms:


Medication may be prescribed to help manage any associated symptoms.

Advice and direction

  • Rest for 24-48 hours
  • During your rest time, don't use technology (e.g. computers, phones, tablets)
  • If you're feeling well enough to exercise, only do light activity under the guidance of your doctor
  • Avoid alcohol

Rehabilitation through the Epworth Concussion Clinic

After initial recovery, you may have persistent post-injury challenges that you want to improve such as vision, balance or memory.

Our Concussion Clinic combines the support of a rehabilitation doctor, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists who specialise in concussion. They provide support, education and intervention to help your recovery and safe return to everyday activities such work, study and sport.

Our locations

For concussion

Your care team at Epworth

The multidisciplinary team for concussion includes a neurologist and allied health professionals such as a neuropsychologist.

Learn more about the health professionals in the neurology care team.

Neurology and neurosurgery

Choosing your Epworth specialist

Meet our specialist neurologists and neurosurgeons, accredited at Epworth.


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