HomeHealth A-ZPersistent Post-concussive Symptoms (Post-concussion Syndrome)

Persistent Post-concussive Symptoms (Post-concussion Syndrome)

Overview

Many injuries cause permanent damage to the body. Out of the serious injuries to the human body, concussion is one such brain injury that affects the brain function severely. It may be caused by a sudden jolt on the head. 

Persistent post-concussive symptoms, also known as post-concussion syndrome, happens when concussion symptoms last beyond the expected recovery period after the initial injury

Many people who suffer falls, or play sports like football or soccer, may suffer concussions at any point in their career. 

About persistent post-concussive symptoms (post-concussion syndrome)

Concussion is a slight traumatic brain injury that generally occurs after a blow to your head. It can also happen with violent shaking and movement of the body or head. Risk of developing persistent post-concussive symptoms does not appear to be linked with the severity of the initial injury.

Persistent post-concussive symptoms, also termed post-concussion syndrome, occur in 15-20% of the persons who suffer from a concussion. This is a medical condition in which the concussion symptoms last beyond the expected recovery time after the concussion injury. The symptoms like dizziness, memory issues, headaches issues, etc., can last from more than a few weeks to a couple of months. Thus, it needs immediate medical intervention to treat post-concussion syndrome to improve the person’s quality of life. 

Causes of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Persistent post-concussive symptoms are touted to be caused due to structural damage to the brain or disruption of the messaging system within the nerves.

There is also a theory that people diagnosed with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder , significant life stressors, a poor social support system and lack of coping skills suffer more from Post concussion syndrome.

Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome

The primary symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Headaches that feel like migraines 
  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of memory and concentration
  • Blurry vision

Persistent post-concussive symptoms (post-concussion syndrome): when to see a doctor?

It is recommended to see a qualified medical professional in case you are suffering from post-concussion syndrome. The condition often worsens without medical help and hence to prevent further damage due to concussion, you should immediately seek medical consultation. Your doctor can help you improve the symptoms and your lifestyle after a concussion. 

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Prevention of persistent post-concussive symptoms (post-concussion syndrome)

You can prevent post-concussion syndrome by protecting your head. The simple steps to ensure the protection of your head from injuries and hence post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Use of helmets: You should never miss on wearing a helmet while driving two-wheelers. Also, while playing sports like roller-skating, ice-skating, snowboarding, bicycling, skiing, in-line skating, etc., you must ask your kids and friends to wear helmets.
  • Preventing falls: You must take steps at your place to prevent falls, such as removing rugs, ensuring proper lighting, including rails at stairs, etc.
  • Wearing seat belts: While traveling in the car and other means of transport, it is highly advised to wear seat belts and encourage your kids to do the same. Seat belts are significantly helpful in preventing head injuries.

Remedies for persistent post-concussive symptoms (post-concussion syndrome)

Staying away from the conditions that promote post-concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness, anxiety, etc.

  • Avoiding stressful activities and take enough rest
  • Avoiding driving while you are treating post-concussion syndrome conditions
  • Staying in a dark and quiet room while facing a headache
  • You can place a cold and moist cloth or cold pack to relieve headaches

Treatment options for persistent post-concussive symptoms (post-concussion syndrome)

Post-concussion syndrome can be treated in accordance with the severity of the symptoms. Some of the  treatments for post-concussion syndrome include the following:

  • Cognitive issues related to memory and thinking do not have any direct treatment. Certain forms of cognitive therapy may be helpful, including focused rehabilitation that provides training in the specific areas that you need to strengthen. Some people may need occupational or speech therapy or stress management strategies . 
  • Educating the patients help them handle things better. Many times, patients are treated using medication like antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. Sometimes doctors may recommend psychotherapy that involves an experienced psychiatrist or psychologist ns.
  • Antidepressants, anti-epileptic agents, antihypertensive agents, etc., are used to treat concussion headaches.  

Conclusion

Post-concussion syndrome is one of the common issues in patients who’ve suffered a severe traumatic head injury. The symptoms are common and include headaches, depression, anxiety, etc. You can seek the help of a registered medical professional to seek assistance in treating the syndrome. Doctors create a treatment plan depending on the condition of the patient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does post-concussion syndrome worsen over time?

The persistent post-concussive symptoms worsen over time if left untreated. Thus, it is crucial to treat it .

Can I watch TV or read books while facing persistent post- concussive symptoms?

Many patients are advised not to do certain tasks like reading, watching TV, using laptops or smart devices while facing persistent post-concussive symptoms.

Persistent post-concussive symptoms usually last for how many days?

Persistent post-concussive symptoms may last for a few months to even a year .

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