If you have had a concussion, it is vitally important that you take care of yourself – even for some time after the concussion has occurred. Most concussions will heal in time, and the symptoms eventually will go away.
But what happens if the symptoms don’t go away? Unfortunately, for some people who have experienced a concussion, their symptoms do not heal within the expected amount of time, and concussion victims continue to feel the impact on their daily lives. When this happens, it’s called persistent post-concussive symptoms or post-concussion syndrome and here’s what you need to know about it.
What is considered a normal recovery time for a concussion?
A concussion is a mild brain injury that happens after an impact to the head, or when the brain gets shook, for example due to severe whiplash. For most people, the symptoms will appear within the first seven to ten days after the injury, and those symptoms will disappear within three months.
If the symptoms persist after the expected recovery period of a few months, it is referred to as post-concussion syndrome.
What are the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome?
Those who are experiencing post-concussion syndrome could experience any of the following symptoms:
- Inability to concentrate, or memory loss
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light and noise
What causes post-concussion syndrome?
Some professionals believe the symptoms of a concussion persist because there was structural damage to the brain during the injury.
Other professionals think that certain symptoms – like headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, and trouble concentrating – persist due to psychological factors. The reason for this is these symptoms are also common for people who have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or PTSD.
However, it could be a mix of both. Some recent research suggests those who have a history of depression, PTSD, anxiety or have a lack of support or coping skills could be more at risk for post-concussion syndrome. There is still quite a bit of research needed to understand why symptoms persist for some but not others.
Of course, the best thing you can do is try to prevent head injuries by always wearing your seatbelt while driving and making sure you wear a helmet while playing sports that could result in a head injury.
Do you need to see a doctor?
If you have experienced a head injury that was severe enough to cause confusion or amnesia – even if you did not lose consciousness – then you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If the injury happened while you were playing sports, it’s important you do not go back to the game until you have medical clearance to do so.
If your symptoms persist past a few months after your injury, you should follow up with your doctor to see if anything can be done about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Do you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer?
If the negligence or recklessness of another person caused your injury, it is always a good idea to speak with a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a case to receive compensation.
The symptoms of a concussion and post-concussion syndrome may be severe enough to cause you to miss out on work (and therefore income), in addition to the costs of your medical bills and pain and suffering. Since it can be difficult to predict at first how much these symptoms may impact you, getting the details down in writing with a personal injury lawyer can help to make sure your rights are protected.
If you or a loved one is experiencing the effects of post-concussion syndrome caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, contact Hoffman Law today for a free consultation.