What are the potential health risks if I get a concussion during sports?

Concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result from any impact to the head and can have potentially serious consequences. It is common in athletes involved in contact sports and in adolescents. Disabilities resulting from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, and the age and general health of the individual. Some common symptoms include problems with thinking, memory, and concentration, as well as taste, and smell, headaches and dizziness. More serious head injuries may result in stupor and loss of consciousness. It is well worth preventing concussions then dealing with the subsequent consequences, because there is no effect treatment.

Protecting athletes from concussion is a good thing. Concussion is under recognized and under reported, and can have devastating neurological consequences, including even death. Of course, most concussions are mild, and people recover from them. It is more likely, though, that permanent brain damage will result if a first concussion is not fully healed before a second concussion happens. You must allow the brain to heal fully before engaging in risky activity. You should see a doctor to help determine when that healing is complete.

There is also an increased risk of sustaining permanent brain damage after recurrent concussions, and the more concussions you have, the more you’re likely to get.

Knowledge and awareness helps to guide us through making important decisions. The decision on whether to play should only be made with full awareness of the potential risks. But in the end, it is the choice of the individual and/or parent, so providing the appropriate information on which to base decisions is an important step.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.