At this point, most individuals have heard of concussions, and they know what they are to some degree. Some still don’t realize how dangerous they are, though, whether for children or adults.
Sports are one of the easiest ways to get them. In this article, we’ll talk about what a concussion is, and we’ll also go over how sports and concussions frequently go together.
What Precisely is a Concussion?
Every year in the United States, about 3 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries. Concussions account for some 10% of them. Student-athletes receive many of these injuries.
The brain is like gelatin. Your cerebrospinal fluid and skull protect it if something bumps or jolts you. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury where your head or body receives a massive blow. The brain twists within the skull or strikes it.
Doctors may call concussions mild brain injuries, but you could argue that there’s no such thing because of how vital the brain is. It’s one body part that humans need.
What Are Some Frequent Concussion Symptoms?
For student-athletes or other individuals, there are several possible concussion warning signs. The person in question might feel dizzy or nauseous. They may vomit.
They might have a persistent headache or experience fatigue. They may experience short-term memory loss after the incident. They may have balance problems.
They might not be able to concentrate. Some report feeling as though they are in a mental fog. They also might experience light and noise sensitivity.
Are There Symptoms that Indicate a Post-Concussion Medical Emergency?
While coaches and other adults around student-athletes should pay attention to the symptoms we just mentioned, they should also look for the following, as they might indicate a life-threatening medical emergency.
The individual might lose consciousness, which is an immediate sign that a doctor should check them out. They might have blood or other fluid coming from the ears or nose. They might seem agitated or confused, or they may have seizures.
They may vomit repeatedly. They might complain of a headache that does not go away or keeps getting worse as time passes. They may have one pupil that’s larger than the other, or they may be drowsy and unable to wake up.
How Do Coaches and Other Adults Treat Concussions?
If a student athlete takes a hard hit to the head or body, and the coach or another adult suspects a concussion, they need to keep that athlete out of the game till they can ascertain the damage extent. The school should have a concussion protocol in place, the same as the NFL and other professional sports leagues have.
The concussion protocol is usually an action sequence to determine whether a concussion has occurred. If a trained medical professional determines that a blow has concussed an athlete, they must not return to the game. They will need to take some time to recover since rest following the incident is one of the most critical steps.
How Long Do Concussion Symptoms Take to Go Away?
Usually, the individual will start feeling better within 1-3 weeks. What every school and professional sports league needs to avoid is pushing the athlete back into action too soon.
That might feel hard for the coach, the student, or the professional athlete. Competitors always want to excel and help the team, and it’s hard to sit on the sidelines and watch the action move on without you.
What doctors have come to realize, though, is that pushing through a concussion is the worst thing that you can do, regardless of your age or whether you’re an amateur or professional athlete. If you ignore a concussion or come back too fast, you risk second impact syndrome. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is also possible.
When we start to talk about either of those things, we’re getting away from athletes recovering from injuries completely, and we’re getting into considerably more dangerous territory. Second impact syndrome or CTE can cause long-lasting or permanent brain damage.
Some pro football players learned this over the past few decades, to their detriment. Doctors didn’t know as much about concussions back then.
If you sustain CTE, that can permanently change your personality. You might have violent mood swings or deal with depression.
Sports are great for many reasons. They encourage exercise and comradery, but anyone who engages in them needs to watch out for concussions. If they sustain one, they need to take the proper time to rest and heal.