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12 Likely Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome

12 Likely Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Following a concussion (also known as a mild
traumatic brain injury), many people experience lasting symptoms in what is often referred
to as “post-concussion syndrome.” However, the symptoms themselves can manifest
in different ways for different patients, which makes post-concussion syndrome particularly
difficult to diagnose. Below we list some of the most common physical,
cognitive and emotional issues you should watch out for if you recently experienced
a head injury. -Headaches and Migraines. -Dizziness and Vertigo. -Fatigue. -Sensitivity to Light. -Blurred Vision. -Noise Sensitivity. -Difficulty Concentrating. -Memory Loss. -Slow / Delayed Thinking. -Anxiety. -Depression. -Sleep Disturbances. Physical Symptoms. Headaches and Migraines. Headaches and migraines rank as one of the
most common complaints of post-concussion syndrome, affecting as many as 90% of patients
at all stages of the condition. Unfortunately, these headaches can last anywhere
from 3 to 6 months to over 1 year, and you are more likely to experience chronic headache
issues if you or your family have a prior history of headache or migraine disorders
and/or if you have experienced multiple head injuries previously. Dizziness and Vertigo. The first few days after a head injury is
where a majority of people deal with post-concussion dizziness, however it can become a chronic
problem for some—lasting up to five years or more. Dizziness and vertigo may also be accompanied
by feelings of faintness, lightheadedness, nausea and/or vomiting. Fatigue. More than 90% of patients report moderate
to severe fatigue following a concussion, and it can linger even when most other symptoms
have subsided. Although there is plenty of debate surrounding
how much exertion should take place for a person with post-concussion syndrome, it is
still recommended to get plenty of rest—particularly in the early days after the injury. Sensitivity to Light. Persistent light sensitivity is another frequent
side effect that can be a hallmark of post-concussion syndrome, although it may be underreported
in medical studies. Like many other symptoms described here, this
sensitivity to light can last beyond the initial recovery period of a concussion. Additionally, many patients report that their
post-concussion symptoms are triggered by certain light, such as fluorescents or digital
screens. Blurred Vision. Blurred vision represents a common visual
symptom after a head injury, with nearly half of non-recovered post-concussion patients
citing it as a disruption. Fuzziness in the visual field may be physiological
in nature, due to injury sustained by the brain and how it affects the eyes, or it may
even represent a neurological complication of the TBI or concussion (e.g. caused by vestibular
migraine). Noise Sensitivity. Sometimes even the quietest sounds can be
painful for a person with post-concussion syndrome. In fact, research has shown that approximately
40% of head injuries have enduring noise sensitivity as a follow-on symptom, and often it presents
with other sensory issues such as photophobia and light intolerance. Cognitive Symptoms. Difficulty Concentrating. If you are dealing with ongoing post-concussion
symptoms, it is very likely that you will also experience disruption in your ability
to concentrate. In fact, it is perhaps the most common non-physical
symptom related to concussions and head injuries. Difficulty concentrating may stem from neck
pain, visual changes, changes in nerve structure, as well as psychological symptoms like anxiety,
and noise/visual sensitivities. Memory Loss. Post-concussion syndrome can unfortunately
lead to memory loss or brain fog for perhaps as many as three out of four individuals who
live with the condition. This might be set off by any brain bruising
associated with the offending injury or simply related to other symptoms like poor concentration,
migraine and/or fatigue. Delayed/Slowed Thinking. As with concentration difficulties, thinking
problems are a common feature of head injuries, and they are often associated with delayed
ability to respond and attention deficits. These symptoms are most frequently reported
within the first 3 months after a concussion, and longer-term cognitive problems are likely
due to an underlying prevalence of emotional symptoms, specifically depression. Emotional Symptoms. Anxiety. Anxiety is sadly a regular feature of chronic
and invisible illness, including post-concussion syndrome, and it can be especially high if
an individual also experiences sensory issues such as light or sound sensitivity. (Hint: You can read more about light sensitivity
and anxiety here.) What is even worse is that anxiousness after
a concussion can lead to a negative cycle of behavior for patients, such as having reduced
hope about their prospects of recovery. Depression. Depression often accompanies anxiety and other
emotional problems following a concussive injury. In fact, nearly 50% report depression within
the first year following an injury. And it can be hard to shake, lasting for several
years after the initial concussion. This can prolong recovery time and also lead
to worsening outcomes and symptoms. It is imperative to discuss any emotional
side effects with a medical professional in order to help reduce the negative impact on
your recovery and life. Sleep Disturbances. Sleep disturbances may affect 40% to 75% of
patients following their injury and may be manifested in symptoms of insomnia and other
sleep challenges. Other sleep disorders may be present in those
with a mild traumatic brain injury as well, such as hypersomnia, periodic limb movement
disorder (PLMD), narcolepsy, sleep walking, sleep terrors, REM sleep disorders and more.

Cesar Sullivan

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