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Monday, November 22, 2010

Concussion/Head Injury

After watching a weekend of football and seeing many players suffering concussions, I thought I'd share some information about concussion and the problems they can cause. It amazes me that with all the recent efforts to prevent concussions in football, so many players still lead with their head when making a tackle. That's not using your head in the right way! Not just athletes suffer concussions so it's important to learn about them before they happen so you can recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.

Here are the symptoms of concussion as provided by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons:

Prolonged headache
Vision disturbances
Nausea or vomiting
Impaired balance
Memory loss
Ringing ears
Difficulty concentrating
Sensitivity to light
Loss of smell or taste

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons also has a list of the warning signs of serious brain injury:

Pain: Constant or recurring headache
Motor Dysfunction: Inability to control or coordinate motor functions, or disturbance with balance
Sensory: Changes in ability to hear, taste or see; dizziness; hypersensitivity to light or sound
Cognitive: Shortened attention span; easily distracted; overstimulated by environment; difficulty staying focused on a task, following directions or understanding information; feeling of disorientation and confusion and other neuropsychological deficiencies.
Speech: Difficulty finding the "right" word; difficulty expressing words or thoughts; dysarthric speech.

Here are a couple links to more detailed information on concussion and brain injury:

Concussion (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Heads Up: Preventing Brain Injuries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Post-Concussion Syndrome (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

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