5 Long-Term Effects of Repeated Concussions

Concussion Side Effects

  • Memory Problems & Trouble Concentrating
  • Headaches and Sensitivity to Light and Sound
  • Difficulty Completing Tasks
  • Dramatic Personality Changes
  • Constant Irritability

The effects of repeated concussions may make daily life a struggle, as well as make it difficult to maintain personal relationships and perform adequately at school and work. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may affect the sufferer for a few hours, several days, or for years. A concussion occurs when something impacts the head and the brain moves rapidly back and forth within the skull. Repeated concussions increase the likelihood of permanent and long-lasting damage to the body and mind.

Memory Problems & Trouble Concentrating

Repeated blows to the head may cause a sufferer of concussions to start forgetting things and begin having trouble concentrating. The average human will forget facts and memories over time, and it’s not unexpected that someone might forget where he or she placed the car keys or what they were doing a week ago on a specific day. However, more severe memory problems may start to occur after a person experiences multiple concussions. A person may have trouble keeping track of what someone is saying, or he or she might become distracted at the slightest interruption.

Headaches and Sensitivity to Light and Sound

One of the primary issues people who have chronic migraine headaches experience is sensitivity to light and sound. In people who suffer from repeated concussions, headaches and some symptoms associated with migraines are some of the most common symptoms experienced. Light sensitivity, which is known by doctors as photophobia, may occur under virtually any type of lighting, from bright interior lights to sunlight. Light sensitivity and vulnerability to sound may occur for months or years after a person experiences repeated concussions.

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Difficulty Completing Tasks

Spinal cord injury research facility Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center explains that a traumatic brain injury may cause a host of issues that may make it difficult to complete simple tasks. A loss of cognitive function, which includes memory, processing information, and communication may make simple tasks a chore. Those suffering from repeated concussions may have trouble assembling items, organizing their homes, creating plans, and executing those plans. Problem-solving required during a project may seem impossible. Impulse control and anger may become commonplace in an individual who never dealt with those problems in the past.

Dramatic Personality Changes

Personality changes are one of the most frightening issues that individuals may face after receiving repeated concussions. Not only can these changes create confusion within the person suffering from the concussion, but the changes may also create strife within the family unit, at work, or with friends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate individuals suffering from long-term concussions may experience changes in emotion like depression, anxiety, aggression, and general personality changes. A person may act inappropriately in social situations or act out with responses well beyond what might be appropriate.

Constant Irritability

Virtually no one is immune from the occasional bad mood, and all sorts of lifestyle choices may create irritability in an otherwise healthy individual. Lack of sleep, money problems, and hunger can create irritable responses to mundane situations. In an individual suffering from a concussion, irritability may become an ingrained part of his or her personality. A person may have constant negative feelings, feel triggered by various situations, and experience stress from relationships and everyday life experiences. These issues may create constant irritability.

Most individuals who suffer from a concussion won’t experience long-term effects, but experiencing more than once concussion may result in the start of memory problems and difficulty concentrating. According to information from the University of Utah, around 20 percent of people will experience post-concussion syndrome, which means they continue to experience problems well beyond the date when their concussion occurred. Avoiding the long-term effects of repeated concussions means protecting one’s self and the head appropriately during sports or any activity where a brain injury may occur.