Preventing and Recognizing Concussions – Guidance from the Doctors at South Tampa Immediate Care

preventing-and-recognizing-concussionsVirtually all sports and recreational activities carry the risk of a possible concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that results from a blow to the head. Sometimes, even a seemingly mild head bump can actually disrupt the way the brain functions. Because a concussion is not visible, and many athletes don’t experience symptoms for hours or even days after being injured, it’s very important to play it safe.

To prevent concussions, insist on safety first. Players should consistently wear appropriate and properly fitted protective headgear and safety equipment, and athletes should always observe the rules of play and practice good sportsmanship. Many times, a concussion will go unrecognized until increased exertion causes its symptoms to worsen. Part of the reason for this may be that athletes may hesitate to report symptoms because they don’t want to be removed from the game or jeopardize their status with the team. As such, education is key to preventing the permanent problems that can result from a concussion.

Signs to watch for after a forceful jolt or blow to the head include:

  • Headache or head pressure
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion and memory problems
  • Mood or behavior changes

If a concussion is suspected, the athlete should be immediately removed from the game and evaluated by a healthcare professional. Complete rest from all physical and mental activity is essential to allow the brain to heal and prevent long-term problems. When concussions are recognized and properly treated, most people recovery quickly and fully. However, a second concussion that occurs before the brain has had time to properly heal can complicate the recovery process. So, when in doubt, sit it out!

Contact or visit the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic today if you have questions or would like further information about family health and wellness. You may also find our online series of health articles helpful.