Post Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

These Post concussion syndrome symptoms can be debilitating, and confusing when you think you should be getting better.  Let's take a look at the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome (PCS), and how quickly you can expect them to go away...

Development and Duration

Symptoms tend to develop between the time of your injury (usually between 7 and 10 days afterwards) to up to four weeks later.  But how long will these symptoms last?  Thankfully, they usually go away within a few days to a few weeks.

There is mounting evidence that with proper treatment and care early on, your chances of a speedy recovery are increased.  There are, however, cases where the symptoms may last months or longer.  But even then there is good reason to believe you will make a full recovery.  More on post-concussion syndrome here.

Post concussion syndrom symptoms

Common Post Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

The most common symptom is headache.  But there can be a variety of headaches - they may feel like tension type headaches, or more like migraine.  When we're talking about headache classifications, this could fit into the category of acute post-traumatic headache attributed to mild head injury, or chronic post-traumatic headache.

But the headache isn't alone - it's accompanied by a complex set of other symptoms.  Concussion is actually a type of brain injury, and so the symptoms can be complex, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety
  • trouble concentrating
  • memory problems
  • sensitivity to noise or light

More Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome

Sometimes family members may notice a change in behaviour or personality in someone with PCS.  The person may become more moody, may lack interest in favourite activities, may become stubborn and opinionated, depressed, or even overly suspicious.  Some of these less-known symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • vertigo
  • ringing in the ears
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty speaking/communicating
  • difficulty understanding instructions
  • guilt and fear
  • changes in appetite
  • decreased sex drive
  • loss of hearing
  • difficulty smelling and tasting
  • aggression
  • difficulty tolerating alcohol
  • impaired judgement
  • difficulty tolerating stress

Important note

If you can check off 3 or more of those common symptoms, it's quite possible that you have post-concussion syndrome symptoms.  However, they must be new symptoms.  In other words, if you already suffered from headaches before the concussion, they may not come from PCS.  And although it's important to see your doctor as early as possible if you suspect you may have PCS, your doctor may not be sure of a diagnosis until more time has passed. 

PCS can be confused with other types of illness (such as depression).  Be sure your doctor has a medical history and knows which symptoms are new and which aren't, and how long they have lasted.  Your doctor will want to rule out other problems that may require different treatment.

More on Post-concussion Syndrome

WebMD has a quick overview of concussion and post concussion syndrome symptoms and treatment here.  If you want an overview of what may be causing these symptoms, and what treatments may help, read this article on Post Concussion Syndrome.