A concussion is a minor form of traumatic brain injury affecting the brain function. Some of the signs of the injury might be delayed and in some, they last for weeks, months or even years. The effects of a concussion that lasts more than 3 months after the initial injury is collectively called as post-concussion syndrome.
What are the physical symptoms?
Many individuals can recover from the injury in just 3 months. Dizziness and headache are the usual physical symptoms after the injury. It is still vague whether the headaches that last for months after a concussion are linked to the severity of post-concussion syndrome or overuse of medication for relief.
The other delayed physical symptoms include balance issues, nausea, vomiting and poor coordination. The vision-related symptoms include double vision, blurry vision and light sensitivity. In addition, there are changes in ability to detect odors or taste as well as hearing issues.
The delayed cognitive signs include difficulty learning, concentrating or remembering things. Some become forgetful about recent events or conversations while others are easily overwhelmed by issues.
A generalized feeling of being slow or in a “mental fog” can arise in the weeks and months after an injury. Additionally, some answer questions sluggishly and frequently repeat questions.
It is common for emotional symptoms to arise after a concussion. Individuals who are anxious, stressed or depressed prior to the injury are likely to end up with post-concussion syndrome.
Nervousness and irritability are usually present. Some experience an overall feeling of sadness where some shows signs of depression.
There are also changes in the sleeping patterns in the weeks and months that follow the injury such as:
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Changes in the amount of sleep
- Daytime drowsiness
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on concussion is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the delayed signs, register for a first aid and CPR course with Mississauga First Aid.