If you sustain an injury to your skull that mildly damages your brain tissue, you can develop a concussion. Immediate symptoms of a concussion can include confusion, amnesia, nausea, vomiting, headache or dizziness. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a condition in which the symptoms of a concussion persist for weeks, months or years. It is important that you discuss the symptoms of PCS with your doctor if you have experienced a concussion.
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An injury to the skull can cause headache symptoms to develop in some people. Headache pain can vary in severity from mild to severe. If you have PCS, you can experience recurrent or constant headache pain that mimics migraine, cluster headaches or tension-type headache symptoms, explain doctors at The Mayo Clinic. Headache symptoms may also be accompanied by sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, lightheadedness or vertigo.
If you develop PCS, you can experience frequent sleeping difficulties. You can find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night (insomnia). Increased daytime fatigue due to PCS can also occur, which may significantly interfere with your ability to complete your normal daily tasks.
Significant mood alterations are frequent among people who develop PCS. Mood or behavior-related symptoms of PCS can include anxiety, irritability or depression. You may feel frequently confused or have difficulty concentrating due to PCS. Certain people can experience personality changes or decreased sexual libido due to this condition.
After sustaining an injury to your skull, you can develop hearing-related problems due to PCS. Symptoms of hearing problems can include a ringing or buzzing sensations within the ears (tinnitus) or hearing loss. Hearing impairment may be temporary but can persist for more than a year in certain people with PCS.
If you develop PCS, you can experience symptoms related to sensory loss. The New York Langone Medical Center explains that such symptoms can include blurred or double vision, slurred speech or a decrease in your ability to taste or smell normally.
You can develop stomach-related symptoms associated with PCS after receiving a blow to the skull. Such symptoms can include nausea, vomiting or decreased appetite. If these symptoms persist, you can also experience weight loss as a symptom of PCS.
A brain injury that results in PCS can lead to coordination problems in certain people. You can notice that you feel unstable when you attempt to walk, or you may find that you trip or stumble more frequently than usual.
Memory problems can occur if you develop PCS. You may find that you are more forgetful than usual or that you frequently misplace commonly used items, such as your house or car keys. It can take you longer to do tasks that require you to process diverse information, such as balancing your checkbook or reading the newspaper.
- The Mayo Clinic: Post-concussion Syndrome - Symptoms
- New York University Langone Medical Center: Postconcussion Syndrome
- "Internal Review of Psychiatry"; Post concussion syndrome; LM Ryan and DL Warden; November 2003