If you’re a competitive athlete, the risk of sustaining a concussion is always present. But how many concussions are too many? At what point do the risks outweigh the benefits of playing sports?
Checkout this video:
1. What are concussions?
Concussions are a type of brain injury that can range in severity from mild to severe. A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, which damages the brain cells and causes chemical changes in the brain. Concussions can occur while playing sports, during car accidents, or from falls.
2. How many concussions are too many?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on a variety of factors including the severity of the concussions, how long ago they occurred, and the overall health of the individual. However, some experts suggest that three concussions may be enough to cause long-term damage, and that any more than that could lead to retirement from sports.
3. What are the long-term effects of concussions?
While the vast majority of concussions will heal without any long-term effects, a small percentage of concussions will lead to long-term problems. These problems can include: headaches, dizziness, balance problems, fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability and depression. In very rare cases, a concussion can lead to more serious problems such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological disorders.
4. How can concussions be prevented?
There is no certain way to prevent concussions. However,helmets and other protective gear help reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion during certain activities.
Since 2012, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws aimed at concussion prevention in youth athletes. The laws vary, but most require:
– educational materials on concussions be provided to parents or guardians and athletes
– athletes who suspect they have a concussion be removed from play
– athletes be evaluated by a healthcare professional trained in concussion management before returning to play
5. How are concussions diagnosed?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
You may have a concussion if you experience any of the following symptoms:
– nausea or vomiting
– dizziness or balance problems
– blurred vision
– sensitivity to light or noise
– feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
– difficulty concentrating or remembering
– changes in mood or personality.
Most people with concussions recover within two weeks, but some may experience symptoms for months or even longer.
6. What should you do if you think you have a concussion?
If you think you might have a concussion, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. A concussion is a serious injury, and the sooner it is treated, the better.
There are several things that you can do to help yourself if you think you have a concussion:
1. Rest: It is important to rest both your body and your mind. This means no physical activity, including sports, and no mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, watching television, playing video games, or using a computer. You may need to take a few days off from school or work.
2. Limit noise and light: Noise and light can make symptoms worse. Try to limit both as much as possible. For example, turn off the television and avoid bright lights.
3. Take over-the-counter pain relievers: If you have pain or a headache, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). However, do not take them if you are already taking other medications for pain or if you have any medical conditions that could be affected by them. Be sure to follow the directions on the label.
4. Apply ice: Ice can help reduce swelling and pain. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the injured area for 20 minutes three times per day until symptoms go away
7. How long does it take to recover from a concussion?
The recovery process after a concussion can be divided into three phases:
-Phase 1: Lasting up to a week after the injury, concussion symptoms appear and worsen during this phase.
-Phase 2: Recovery begins during this phase, which can last up to four weeks. Symptoms become less severe and may even disappear altogether.
-Phase 3: The final stage of recovery, during which any lingering symptoms should dissipate. This phase can last anywhere from days to months.
8. What are the return-to-play guidelines after a concussion?
There is no precise answer to this question and the decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. In general, however, it is recommended that athletes:
-Be symptom-free at rest and during exertion
-Have normal neurological function (e.g., cognitive testing, reflexes, balance)
-Have normal brain imaging ( MRI or CT scan)
9. What research is being done on concussions?
There is a great deal of research being done on concussions, especially in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a website dedicated to concussion information, including research findings.
10. Where can I find more information on concussions?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more information on concussions, including:
-What is a concussion?
-How can you prevent concussions?
-What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
-What should you do if you think you or someone else may have a concussion?
-How can concussions be treated?