Sports-Related Concussions and Vestibular Symptoms
The annual estimate for sports-related concussions in the United States is between 1.6 and 3.8 million cases. Concussions produce a variety of symptoms with a headache as the top complaint. Other common complaints include auditory-vestibular symptoms, such as dizziness, tinnitus, and sound sensitivity. Recently, Chorney et al. (2017) examined rates of audiovestibular symptoms following sports-related concussions among college athletes. Data were acquired from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System (ISS).
Between 2009–2014, the NCAA-ISS recorded 1,647 sports-related concussions among male and female student-athletes. From the sample, 68.2 percent reported dizziness, 35.8 percent—imbalance, 29.9 percent—sound sensitivity, and 8.5 percent—tinnitus.
Resolution of symptoms was achieved within one week of concussion in over 67 percent of the cases. Interestingly, imbalance and sound sensitivity were most predictive of a longer duration in the resolution of symptoms and delayed return to competition.
The authors suggest that involvement of the vestibular symptoms and sound sensitivity may have some prognostic value.
Chorney SR, Suryadevara AC, Nicholas BD. (2017) Audio-vestibular symptoms as predictors of prolonged sports-related concussion among NCAA athletes, The Laryngoscope (March 27).