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How to Deal With a Concussion

Suffering a concussion is not good, but unfortunately they happen all the time in sports. We got the low down on these head injuries.

The 411 on Concussions

A concussion occurs when the brain is suddenly moved, causing it to temporary change of how it works. This happens when there is a hard blow to the head - which causes the brain to shift and hit the skull. Most sports are physical, so the odds of your head getting hit by a person, or ball or wall increases. The length of a concussion can vary - sometimes it occurs for a few seconds while other times, a person can be knocked unconscious for an extended period.

Many professional athletes, particularly football players and boxers suffer concussions. Several high profile football stars like Steve Young and Troy Aikman retired after suffering several serious concussions throughout their careers. A lot of times their can be long-term effects of suffering a series of concussions. But head injuries are not limited to the pros, statistics say that 40,000 high school football players suffer concussions each year. But concussions are not limited to contact sports like football, boxing and hockey - they occur in all sports like soccer, baseball, snowboarding and basketball.

The Symptoms

Let's say you are playing football and you get tackled hard to the ground, causing your head to hit the grass hard. If you are feeling dizzy or dazed, those are the first signs. Blurred vision, throwing-up, and headache are also symptoms. Your coordination, speech and strength are also affected. If you get knocked out, there is a good chance there is bleeding inside your head. People who are unconscience for a few minutes will be confused and may even suffer from amnesia - loss of memory of events, people, etc.

What to do Next

No matter how mild your symptoms are, if you think you may have had a concussion, you need to be evaluated by a doctor. People who are knocked unconscious need emergency medical attention. Most likely, a doctor will ask you questions to check your memory. They might also check your reflexes balance. Depending on the severity of the head injury, a doctor might order a CAT scan to make sure there is no bleeding or bruising inside the head. Your doctor will also recommend how much time you need to take off playing sports. If the injury is bad enough, the doctor may need to decide whether or not they feel you need to quit playing the sport. That might sound harsh, but remember, your health is more important than anything!

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