In the last 10 years, the world’s understanding of concussions has increased tenfold. Also, we're more aware of the lingering effects of concussions. Post-Concussion Syndrome is one of those lingering effects.
While contact sports are still a staple in creating concussions, more and more average people are being checked for concussions following a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or accidental hits to the head.
Anyone who’s had a concussion knows that healing a concussion is the most boring thing ever. Essentially, you need to avoid using your brain for a few days and then gradually start introducing things back in.
In the beginning, your doctor will ask you to rest for the first two days, but you can’t just lay in the dark and sleep, there’s a method to recovery. You’ll get a list of restrictions like no watching TV, reading, texting, checking emails, or playing video games. Then after the two days are up, it’s time to gradually reintroduce your life back in. A lot of times rehabilitation will start for vision, balance, thinking, and memory.
Because most of us aren’t in a position to stop our lives entirely, we put our concussed brains through stress and don’t let our brains heal properly.
The result is Post-Concussion Syndrome.
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
In essence, Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) encompasses many of the same symptoms you experienced the days following your concussion. However, with PCS, your symptoms linger.
PCS affects somewhere between 10–30% of people with a brain injury / concussion. PCS might be a constant thing after your concussion. Or PCS might not appear for weeks after your symptoms subsided.
But if you had a concussion and are now feeling:
There’s a possibility that you have PCS.
There’s no clear understanding of why some people develop PCS, while others don’t. And the severity of your concussions also plays no role in the likelihood of you getting PCS. However, if you’re over the age of 40, then you’re at a slightly higher chance of getting it.
Post-Concussions Syndrome can last anywhere from weeks to months after the brain injury occurred. In rare cases, PCS stays with a person for over a year.
Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome
Post-Concussion Syndrome is known to manifest in a variety of ways. PCS takes a toll on your physical behaviors, making sensory input hard to handle and dizziness a daily struggle. PCS takes a toll on your ability to think and concentrate, making it difficult to go on with daily life. And worst of all, the prolonged nature of PCS can deflate a person’s emotional well-being.
- Headaches and Migraines
- Dizziness and Vertigo
- Sensitivity to Light
- Blurred Vision
- Noise Sensitivity
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Memory Loss
- Slow / Delayed Thinking
- Sleep Disturbances
Do I Have Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Although there’s no single way to diagnose PCS, we always start with an in-depth discussion with our patients to really understand the journey of their symptoms.
Generally, a doctor will diagnose a patient with PCS if they (experienced a concussion) and now have at least three of the symptoms described above.
If dizziness is present, then we’ll run them through many of the same tests we use To Diagnose Dizziness & Vertigo-Related Conditions. That way, we can rule out any inner ear issues or vestibular (balance) dysfunction.
Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome
Because little is known about PCS, doctors cannot treat the actual root cause. Therefore, we’re left to treat each symptom individually.
The physical symptoms (dizziness / vertigo) are treated through vestibular rehabilitation therapy. The cognitive symptoms are treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. And the emotional symptoms are treated with a combination of medication and counseling.
At the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute, Post-Concussion Dizziness is a common condition we treat, given the fact that so many PCS patients come in with dizziness and vestibular issues.
You can find hope in knowing that PCS is a treatable condition that has a light at the end of the tunnel. The vast majority of PCS patients will resolve their issues within 3 months time. Especially with the help of trained professionals.
Give us a call at (310) 954–2207 or schedule an appointment here if you still have lingering symptoms from your concussion.