Concussions, especially at a younger age, can go undiagnosed and untreated. Any significant hit to the head that maybe dazes or causes you to have to refocus on what task you were just doing, should be looked at by someone who specializes in concussion therapy. It’s not just about someone looking at your pupils, but more importantly, what steps to take next. Treating a concussion is largely based on education as symptoms progressively improve. The goal here is to allow you to do certain activities that don’t increase the severity of the symptoms, but allow you to slowly return to full daily activities like school, work, TV, driving, sports etc.
What a lot of people don’t realized is that a concussion is a form of brain trauma and damage. Also, keep in mind that concussions don’t always occur with a direct hit to the head, but can also be caused by a whiplash affect. This can be a hit to the body, in which the force of that hit rapid whips the head side to side or front to brack. Brain tissue is very unpredictable in how it will respond and recover from a concussion. Everyone recovers differently so there is no cookie cutter form of treatment. It is what it is at the time it happens. Things like how many past concussions one has had can affect the timeline for recover, but again that is all determined day by day at the symptoms decrease.
Many consider concussions “unavoidable” however proper skills training can reduce the likelihood of a concussion happening. Increasing one’s spatial awareness, reaction timing, and conditioning can all play a role in reducing your chance of a collision resulting in a concussion. Spatial awareness is a person’s ability to know where they are in relation to what’s around them. Increasing peripheral vision ability and increasing your skill in sports or whatever activity will help in reacting to situations out of your immediate field of view. Reaction timing is a person’s ability to react to a situation. Maybe it’s jumping out of the way of a tackle or a form of contact or bracing for impact. Increased reaction timing can create that fraction in time to avoid a concussion. Finally, conditioning plays a large role in spatial awareness and reaction timing. As a person fatigues, their response timing and ability to analyze situations requires more processing time, which slows both spatial awareness and reaction time. If you play sports, or if your occupation requires high alert situations, it’s in your best interest to stay healthy and increase your conditioning to make sure you stay sharp!