What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when a force causes the brain to move inside the skull cavity, striking the insides of the skull. The brain essentially floats within the skull, and any traumatic impact or blow to the head can cause the brain to shift violently within this fluid. After the brain strikes the inside of the skull, the victim experiences a concussion, and the symptoms vary greatly from person to person.
A concussion may result in a brief period of unconsciousness, disorientation, and confusion. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to noise and light, headache, nausea, sensory confusion, and a host of other symptoms. The immediate effects of a concussion may only appear to last a few hours to a few days, but one of the most troubling aspects of concussions is their tendency to cause long-term problems, including post-concussion syndrome. In the event you or somebody you love sustained head injuries caused by the negligence of another party, speak with a Bakersfield brain injury attorney as soon as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome?
An individual who experiences a concussion will be more susceptible to concussions in the future, and he or she may also develop post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms of this condition differ for every individual, so a physician may diagnose a patient as having post-concussion syndrome in one of many ways. Some of the most common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Mood swings and irritability
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Lapses in memory and/or diminished short-term memory
- Fatigue, apathy, and symptoms of depression
- Noticeable personality changes
A physician may look for three or more of these symptoms to diagnose a patient with post-concussion syndrome, and additional screenings such as CT scans and MRIs may help accurately diagnose a patient.
Prognosis for Post-Concussion Syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome has physical and psychological effects, making it difficult to treat in some patients. Rest is generally the most recommended treatment for a concussion, but this may exacerbate the psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome like depression, anxiety, and restlessness. Most patients who experience post-concussion syndrome make full recoveries within three months, but some cases can last a year or longer.
No one-size-fits-all approach to treating post-concussion syndrome is available, as the symptoms differ for every person who experiences it. Physicians must develop individualized treatment plans to address the physical and psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for the best recovery experience.
Individuals who experience concussions and the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome should take care to prevent subsequent concussions in the future. Individuals who experience a second or third concussion generally report more severe symptoms, and repeat concussions are more likely to cause long-term damage.
Risk Factors for Concussions
Two of the most common causes of concussions in the United States are motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. Motor vehicle accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental injury and death in the U.S., and many people who survive serious car accidents sustain concussions. Many contact sports are prevalent in American life as well.
Football, hockey, basketball, soccer, and many other sports carry risks of causing concussions from collisions with other players, falls to the ground, blows to the head from equipment, and many other potential hazards. Athletes, especially younger athletes still in school, should take care to follow their sports’ safety regulations and wear appropriate equipment to prevent concussions.
While you can never predict the actions of other drivers on the road, you can use good judgment to do your part to prevent motor vehicle accidents and limit your risk of injury if an accident happens. Always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding as a passenger and drive defensively. Refrain from speeding and aggressive driving and use extra caution in high-risk areas like construction zones, heavy merging areas, and busy city streets. It’s possible to sustain a concussion from even a mild fender-bender, so safe driving is a great way to prevent these injuries