Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:
- Headache (most common) that feels like:
- Pressure in the head
- A tight band around the head
- The head is blowing up like a balloon
- The head is being pulled apart between the eyes
- May feel different from other headaches you have experienced
- Neck pain
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Balance problems
- Vision problems
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Problems paying attention
- Problems thinking clearly
- Memory problems
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Feeling mentally slowed
- Reduced tolerance to stress, emotional excitement, or alcohol
- Decreased taste and smell (rare)
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome, or persistent post-concussion symptoms, is a cluster of symptoms of a brain injury (concussion) that last longer than the normal expected time frame for recovery.
What Causes Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome is caused by a concussion, which is a form of brain injury. When concussion symptoms do not go away after the expected recovery time, this is considered post-concussion syndrome.
Causes of concussions include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Injuries from contact sports such as football, ice hockey, soccer, and boxing
- Combat injuries such as from blasts and bullet wounds
Risk factors that may contribute to developing post-concussion syndrome include:
- Severe impact
- Longer duration of initial concussion symptoms
- Being hit twice in a short time
- Four or more symptoms that occur in the early stages of the concussion
- Significant visual symptoms immediately following the injury
How Is Post-Concussion Syndrome Diagnosed?
Post-concussion syndrome is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination, along with tests to assess the severity of the brain injury, such as:
What Is the Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome?
The goal of treatment of post-concussion syndrome is to relieve symptoms, and may include:
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Vision therapy
- Graduated exercise therapy
- Light therapy (photobiomodulation) (currently being researched)
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