What is post-concussion syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome is a disorder in which some symptoms, such as headache and dizziness, persist for weeks or months following a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is usually caused by a blow to the head or by whiplash-type movement of the head.
Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms
The most prominent symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are headaches and dizziness. Post-concussion headaches may feel like tension headaches or migraines.
Other symptoms include:
- Balance problems
- Blurred vision
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Noise and light sensitivity
- Ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus
Post-concussion syndrome symptoms may be compounded by other disorders, increasing the risk of misdiagnosis.
If you experience any symptoms after hitting your head, seek medical attention.
Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment
There is no specific treatment for post-concussion syndrome, but medications and other therapies may help relieve some of the symptoms. Every brain injury is different, and it is important that you consult with a neurologist if you suspect you have a concussion or brain injury.
How common is post-concussion syndrome?
Approximately 15 percent of people with a concussion may go on to develop post-concussion syndrome.
Who gets post-concussion syndrome?
Anyone who has had a concussion can experience post-concussion syndrome. Common causes of concussion include:
- Auto accidents
- Falls, especially in younger children and older adults
- Physical abuse
- Military combat
People with a history of any of the following may be more likely to experience post-concussion syndrome:
- Migraine headaches
- Mood, anxiety, learning, or seizure disorder
- Previous concussion
- Prolonged recovery after concussion
How is post-concussion syndrome diagnosed?
No single test can diagnose post-concussion syndrome, however, the following tests can help detect structural brain abnormalities caused by injury to the brain:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)