14 Jun What do you really know about concussions?
If you’ve ever played sports or known someone that has, you already know that concussions are quite common. Just last year a movie titled Concussion focused on just that. Over the decades we have ignored and downplayed the effects of repeated concussions, on and off the field. A concussion occurs when a heavy hit has impacted the head, neck or upper body as well as being shaken violently or suddenly.
Medically, a concussion is defined as a ‘traumatic brain injury’. Although they are commonly referred to as a minor brain injury, if a force is strong enough, the effects can be long term. The brain is surrounded by a cushion of fluid that protects it from impacting the skull, however, harder blows can force the fluid away as the brain goes through it and hits the inner skull. This is when matters can be much worst.
Not every hit to the head or neck results in a concussion but it is definitely hard to diagnose it. No two hits are the same, and there are more times than not that a concussion may go undetected. Concussions are usually confirmed by the presence of dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, loss of balance, headaches, confusion, memory loss and many more symptoms. With that being said, just because you’ve gotten hit, and didn’t pass out doesn’t mean you’re in the clear for a possible concussion. It can take up to 72 hours before any of these symptoms surface. If you have gotten hit, rest is the first recommendation on the list. This allows your brain to recover from the blow along with avoiding physical activity, strenuous mental activity such as reading, video games, watching TV or even using a computer. Boring? Yes, but these small measure will ensure you fully recover and avoid any long term risks that you may face. It is suggested to consult a medical professional for the go ahead to return to these activities.
As of late, there has been much attention brought to light concerning the severity of the long-term effect within numerous sports leagues. They are frequently associated with intense contact sports such as football and hockey, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk among other sports like basketball, baseball and soccer.
It’s easy to identify certain symptoms as an adult, however, children are bit trickier. This is when it’s important to remember that not only big impacts can cause a concussion, but rather even the small or harmless-seeming injuries can cause a concussion.