What is Post Concussion Syndrome?
Post concussion syndrome constitutes a collection of symptoms that occur after the actual symptoms of a concussion clear up. Post concussion syndrome is a complication of concussion that involves symptoms which carry on after a head injury has occurred and even after the concussion symptoms have resolved. Post concussion syndrome can last from weeks to months. Rest and redoing the stress levels help in recovery from this condition.
Causes of Post Concussion Syndrome
It is not compulsory that every person who suffers from a head injury has post concussion syndrome. It is not clear as to why some people have it. Post concussion syndrome occurs after an injury or trauma to the head and after the concussion and its symptoms have resolved.
Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome
Symptoms can last for a few weeks or may continue for a longer time. These symptoms are vague and are seen in other medical conditions also. So, to diagnose it becomes difficult. Some common symptoms are:
- Blurred vision.
- Loss of smell or taste.
- Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, difficulty in sleeping, fatigue, mood swings and irritability.
- Cognitive symptoms such as forgetfulness, lack of concentration, delayed reaction time, problems in thinking, difficulty in absorbing new information.
Diagnosis of Post Concussion Syndrome
If a person suspects that he or she has a post concussion syndrome then that person should seek medical attention immediately. Diagnosis is confirmed depending on the basis of symptoms experienced and a comprehensive neurological and physical exam, muscle strength tests, reflexes, and coordination. Cognitive function can also be tested with mini mental status analysis etc. Brain imaging is ordered to rule out any complications from the head trauma like internal bleeding.
Treatment of Post Concussion Syndrome
- The mainstay of treatment is good rest, lifestyle changes, and minimizing stress. Gradually, the symptoms abate on their own. There is no particular treatment for post concussion syndrome. The patient is advised to take rest, avoid sporting activity, rigorous physical activity or exercise, and alcohol consumption.
- Medications such as painkillers for headaches, antidepressants, anxiolytics, or anti-nausea medications help in calming the symptoms down. If symptoms continue for more than 3 months, then the individual should consult a physician specializing in head injuries.