Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Concussion symptoms often appear hours or days after an accident. Unfortunately, your concussion symptoms may worsen over time before they improve.

After an accident, you should seek medical assistance. Even if you did not hit your head, the jolt to your brain caused by a sharp movement could lead to a brain injury.

Here is an overview of how concussions happen and why symptoms often appear to be delayed.

How Concussions Happen

Your brain floats inside your skull surrounded by a layer of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF cushions the brain from impacts.

A car accident or other accident can cause a powerful jolt to your body. The CSF must exert a great deal of pressure on the brain to stop it from striking the inside of your skull. Although the CSF prevents a major contusion of the brain, the pressure of the CSF can damage or kill brain cells.

The loss of brain cells changes the way the brain functions. But it also changes your brain chemistry. 

The body triggers an inflammatory response in the brain to protect it and begin to rebuild the damaged cells. This inflammation causes the brain to swell and increase in temperature. Additional changes in brain function will result from the inflammation.

Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Concussion symptoms take time to appear because the changes in the brain may develop slowly. 

The initial impact could cause some immediate symptoms. Some of the most common immediate symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision or seeing stars
  • Tinnitus
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Clumsiness
  • Drowsiness

If you watch sports, you might have seen team doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the severity of a concussion in the stadium or arena. 

By examining a patient’s eye-opening response, verbal response, and motor response, doctors can immediately determine the severity of a concussion.

But this does not mean the symptoms stop once the examination ends. As the brain swells, additional symptoms may appear, or existing symptoms may worsen.

Symptoms that may take time to appear include:

  • Amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Loss of balance
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Sleep disorders

In most situations, concussion symptoms clear up within eight weeks. During this time, doctors may recommend rest to give your brain time to recover. 

A light work schedule and a reduction in activity will also reduce the chances of reinjuring your brain.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) happens when you experience symptoms for more than two months after an injury. The most common PCS symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and headaches.

Unfortunately, some accident victims experience severe behavioral and mental difficulties after a concussion. Doctors do not know why some accident victims experience PCS. Some studies theorize that accident victims with PCS often suffer from PTSD from their accidents.

Treatment of Concussion Symptoms

After an accident, you should seek medical attention. Doctors cannot diagnose a concussion with imaging. Instead, they will administer a range of tests to determine if you suffer from any symptoms or impairments.

You should keep your medical provider updated as your symptoms change.

Doctors have very few treatments for concussion symptoms. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve pain and reduce swelling in the brain. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used to treat PCS.

Preventing Concussions

The best way to avoid concussions is by using safety equipment. Seat belts and motorcycle helmets can keep you from hitting your head during a traffic accident, although they cannot prevent your brain from sloshing in your skull. 

Proper safety equipment can reduce your risk of a concussion, though it may not altogether eliminate the risk. Safety equipment can also reduce the severity of a concussion by minimizing the potential for head trauma.

Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.