What is a concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. It can occur after an impact to your head or after a sudden injury that causes your head and brain to shake quickly back and forth. According to a sports vision doctor for the University of Cincinnati, their football team averages between 8 and 11 concussions per season.

What are the risk factors for concussions?

Concussions are extremely common, with an estimated 3.8 million sports related concussions in the US per year.  According to the NCAA the sports with the highest incidence of concussions are Football, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Soccer, and Wrestling.

The most common cause for unintentional concussions in the US are from falls. This can occur at all ages for example a fall from falling down stairs or slipping on ice. In a motor vehicle collision, hitting the head on the steering wheel, windshield, dashboard, side windows or door can result in a serious concussion.

It is estimated that 3.9% of children have had a diagnosis of concussion or brain injury.

How can concussion be avoided in sports?

If an athlete suffers a concussion, a great protocol at the college and high school level is to take them out of the game and ensure they are stable. A second concussion could cause extensive damage and they might not be able to recover. Furthermore, it's important to evaluate them and make sure that they receive not only rest, but are also capable of reengaging quickly, since most athletes are extremely competitive and don't want to let their teammates down. But they risk another concussion, which could oftentimes end their athletic careers. During games and training an emphasis should be placed on using proper protective equipment such as helmets during football or hockey practice. The helmet should be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and should be checked for proper fit.

How is a concussion treated?

It's important that everyone with a head injury sees a doctor, even if they don't require emergency care. If you or your child has had a concussion please call your doctor to schedule an appointment.
According to the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation studies show that 90% of traumatic brain injuries result in visual dysfunctions.  If you are experiencing symptoms such as blurry vision, difficulty reading, light sensitivity, migraines, or a loss of visual field, please schedule a neuro optometric evaluation.

In some cases, prism glasses or vision therapy may be recommended along with lens filters for light sensitivity. The purpose of vision therapy is to train specific parts of the visual system by doing various exercises and using various tools. The purpose of vision therapy is to improve issues such as focusing, eye tracking, and coordination in the eyes.

There are a lot of different measures that can be taken for an athlete with a concussion, such as ocular motor screenings, sensorimotor evaluations, visual perceptual testing, visual fields testing, and glare and contrast testing. The role of the neuro optometrist is to diagnose, treat, and monitor the patient following a traumatic brain injury that results in visual dysfunction. The neuro optometrist will also coordinate treatment with the patients primary care physician and other therapists such as physical and occupational therapists, before they return to play. The goal of concussion treatment is not just to return to play, but also to return to life. So the goal is to make sure they can do that.

Visit a Neuro eye doctor at an Amplify EyeCare practice near you:


Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare