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Concussion Season is Here Again

As sports season kicks in for the new school year and more people head outdoors in hopes of exercising in slightly cooler temperatures, the number of concussions increases. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer one.

Each year, approximately 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with concussions, many of whom are older people at greatest risk for falls. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury most often caused by sudden bumps or blows to the head and neck area. These bumps can happen on the football or soccer field, in a car accident, at a rowdy concert or by falling off your bike. As a result of the sudden impact, the brain moves around in the skull causing chemical changes. These changes make the brain more sensitive to stress and other injuries until it fully recovers.

It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect someone has suffered a concussion. Some of the warning signs include:

*       Headache/neck pain
*       Dizziness/lightheadedness
*       Sensitivity to light or noise
*       Poor balance
*       Loss of consciousness
*       Confusion
*       Dazed or stunned behavior
*       Difficulty remembering

Although treatment for concussions is individualized, most physicians recommend physical and mental rest immediately after the injury. It’s also paramount to obtain clearance by a physician experienced in diagnosing and treating concussions before returning to normal activities, including sports.

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