It’s not uncommon to suffer a concussion if you slip or trip and strike your head on the floor or a solid object. Concussions are a mild type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). They’re typically far less dangerous than more serious TBIs, such as those where there’s bleeding in the brain. At least, they are when the victim gets prompt testing and medical care and follows their doctor’s orders.
These orders usually involve avoiding work, school, sports and driving until any headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms have subsided. In these cases, people can recover from concussions within a relatively short period.
However, sometimes these symptoms persist for weeks, months or even longer. This is called post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms may not even be present immediately after an injury, but generally are noticeable within the first 10 days.
Further, the chances of developing this condition don’t seem to be related to how serious the injury was. It’s been found that there may be a psychological component. People with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more likely to have post-concussion syndrome.
How does post-concussion syndrome affect people?
The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are similar to those of any concussion, but they last longer. In addition to headaches and dizziness, they can include:
- Memory loss
- Inability to concentrate
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Hearing and/or vision problems
While researchers are always trying to learn more about post-concussion syndrome, it’s crucial for anyone who has suffered a concussion (and their loved ones) to understand that it is a possibility and to pay attention if the concussion symptoms don’t go away when doctors predicted they would.
If your concussion was caused by a fall or other accident for which someone else was at fault, it’s crucial not to settle any claims until you know the full extent of your injuries and how they will affect your life both in the near future and beyond that.