Concussions in Sports

Published on
March 3, 2022

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.

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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