What is Post Concussion Syndrome?
Concussions are not life-threatening in most cases, but there can be long-term effects that last longer than a few weeks or months. One potential chronic condition is a post-concussion syndrome (PCS), which can impact a victim’s day-to-day life, including their ability to work or perform other daily tasks.
Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years. Approximately 10 to 20% of people diagnosed with a concussion experience PCS, which can be permanent in rare cases. Symptoms of PCS can include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased irritability
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to noise and light
- Changed senses of taste and smell
A victim’s chances of experiencing long-term symptoms increase if they have previously suffered a concussion or another type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Repeated concussions can also lead to another severe and long-term condition, known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE causes brain inflammation and, unfortunately, it can only be diagnosed at autopsy.
What Causes Post-Concussion Syndrome?
It is not understood exactly why some people experience post-concussion syndrome, and others do not, as more research is needed. However, the concussions that lead to PCS often happen due to the following causes:
- Fall Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Acts of Violence
- High-Impact Sports (e.g., football or boxing)
If another party’s negligence caused your accident that resulted in your PCS, you may be entitled to pursue a claim. By filing a concussion lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for your current and future medical bills, lost income while you recover, and reimbursement for other accident-related losses.
How to Prevent Post-Concussion Syndrome
Seeking medical care immediately after a head injury is critical to prevent long-term symptoms. However, the best prevention is avoiding the risk of a concussion altogether. For example:
- Wear a seat belt when driving and ensure children are in age-appropriate car seats or booster seats.
- Wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bicycle, skating, skateboarding, or participating in contact sports.
- Wear a hard hat when appropriate (e.g., construction workers, when working on your home)
- Install slip and fall prevention surfaces and devices on floors, railings, and stairs in your home.
If you have already suffered a concussion, it is critical to prevent re-injury by:
- Waiting to drive until cleared by your doctor.
- Making sure you get plenty of rest and sleep.
- Reporting any new symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible throughout your recovery.
- Refraining from any sports-related activities until your doctor clears you.
- Taking children to playgrounds with soft walking surfaces in case of a fall.
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment to speed up recovery from PCS. The treatment options available can only help give relief from symptoms. However, making sure to take the time your body needs is essential to recovery, as well as avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs and keeping your stress levels down.