Concussion | Diagnosis & Tests


How is a concussion diagnosed?

Be sure to contact a doctor if you or a loved one has any concussion symptoms after a blow to the head, neck, or body. The doctor will want information from people who were there when the injury happened. He or she will want to know about the injured person’s symptoms. He or she may test the person’s strength, senses, balance, reflexes, and memory. In more serious cases, the doctor may want to do specific medical tests (for example, a computed tomography [CT] scan) to look for more severe problems from the injury.

It is especially critical to call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if you cannot wake the injured person or if:

  • Any concussion symptoms (for example, headache or confusion) are severe or are getting worse over time
  • The injured person is having seizures
  • The injured person cannot recognize people or places
  • One pupil (the black center of the eye) is bigger than the other
  • The injured person keeps vomiting


See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00