Concussions: Serious Injury for Males and Females Alike

While many might assume that concussions are a “boy thing”, studies are showing that girls are more susceptible to suffering a concussion. For instance, in high school soccer, girls sustained a concussion 68 percent more often than boys, while in basketball, girls are practically three times more likely to sustain a concussion. Due to the erroneous notion that a concussion is a problem that primarily plagues males, looking for and diagnosing concussions in women are not reasonably and diligently pursued.

Some symptoms of a concussion include blurred vision, dizziness, nausea and disorientation. However, often the diagnosis of a concussion is not made and this results in more serious long term health problems and injuries. There are often lingering symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and sensitivity to noise and light.

Repeat concussions, even when mild, often increase the risk of post-concussion syndrome. Studies have demonstrated that post-concussion syndrome, which includes symptoms such as lethargy, blurred vision, headaches, memory loss, dizziness, photophobia, tinnitus, and difficulty concentrating are particularly problematic in both male and females and often result in a lengthy time at home, away from school or work.

According to a study reported in the Journal of Athletic Training, the highest rate of concussions occurs in football, with 47 concussions per 100, 000 games or practice. Girls soccer shows that there are 36 such injuries per 100, 00 games or practice. There is growing media coverage and an rising concern that concussions can cause long-term brain damage, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

As a result, boys and girls alike must pursue their own cost-benefit analysis as to whether they should continue to be involved in sports where there is risk of suffering a concussion. It is important that the symptoms of a concussion are taken seriously and that treatment is sought to prevent long terms problems.

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