A concussion is not just getting your 'bell rung' it is actually a mild brain injury. It can occur as a result of a hit, jolt, contact, or jarring force to the head. Because it doesn't usually come with a bruise or gashing open wound, it can actually be more dangerous because the athlete may keep playing and not get treated. An athlete that feels bad, but keeps playing, is at risk for another concussion and potentially worse damage.
Signs and symptoms of concussions vary and can include:
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering
- Difficulty sleeping or more sleepy than usual
- Poor balance
- More emotional or irritable than usual
Imagine how hard it would be to play or perform well when you're having any of those symptoms above!! A confused Britney is safer off the field or rink or court & resting instead!
Concussions have been getting more and more headlines lately, but most often with men's football. So, as a female athlete, do you need to be worried about concussions?
The quick answer is YES! For the long answer, keep reading.
Concussions affect girls and women, just as often, if not more often than men. Because there is less awareness in the area of concussions in females, athletes may have one without realizing it. Instead of resting and getting examined, the athlete may keep on playing despite the signs or symptoms.
- Researchers aren't really sure why girls are at a higher risk for concussions - it could be hormones or less neck muscle strength or less training and protection or that girls are just reporting their symptoms...the problem is we don't really know! More reporting & research is needed to help learn more and prevent them from happening!
- Girl report more symptoms like poor concentration, lightheadedness, increased fatigue, headache, and visual hallucinations
- Girl show greater cognitive decline and slowed reaction time relative
- Girl perform worse on balance tests following concussion
- Read below about how you could be at risk - and what you need to look out for!
So, if you think you have a concussion, you need to tell someone & get the proper treatment! You want to make sure your 'head is in the game' so you can practice, perform, and play your absolute best! Remember your brain works just as hard as your body does, so it needs just as much care & protection & attention!
For more reading & research