Dr Oz: Suffering From Concussions
Dr Oz was on the topic of concussions and showed a preview of the new movie Concussion, which is centered around the doctor who discovered brain trauma in pro football players. Dr Oz talked to Sara who experienced her first concussion five years ago when playing volleyball. Since then, she’s had thirteen more concussions. She shared that she’s had frequent migraines and sensitivity to light.
Dr Oz said you would actually be surprised at how many concussions happen in sports that most people would deem safe. Concussions don’t only happen in football. Sara’s concussions were so bad that she had to be home-schooled her sophomore year and her doctor even put her on brain rest for a month, which means no electronics, phones, or reading, and she had to sleep for 18 hours a day. Dr Sanjay Gupta said you have to think about the brain as a muscle, so of course it’s going to need some rest.
Dr Oz: Strengthening Your Neck To Prevent Concussions
Dr Oz then wanted to tackle some misconceptions about concussions, starting with the idea that boys are more likely to suffer from a concussion. Women are actually more at risk, partly because they’re more likely to report symptoms, and partly because girls tend to have weaker necks. He said neck-strengthening exercises are actually a big recommendation for women to prevent brain injuries.
Dr Oz was then joined by a boy named Luke and his mother. Luke is 13-years-old and suffered his first concussion while playing soccer and his second while playing football. When he was hit in the face with a soccer ball, he had to get ten stitches in his lip but then later that night started experiencing mood swings, headaches, and sensitivity to light. He never lost consciousness but was dizzy and had a hard time walking.
Dr Oz: Concussion Misconceptions
Dr Oz then explained that a lot of people think it’s necessary to lose consciousness upon suffering a concussion, but only about 8-10% of the time does someone actually lose consciousness. Luke’s mom said the reality is that he’s a 13-year-old boy so she can’t protect him from everything. Sara’s advice was to take the first concussion very seriously before you hurt yourself again.
Dr Oz: ImPACT Test To Detect Concussions
Dr Oz then welcomed a high school girls’ soccer coach, Haroot Hakopian, who has made it his mission to give parents, coaches, and players concussion awareness. Dr Oz wants to give everyone the tools to diagnose and treat concussions as quickly as possible to avoid long-term problems. Before the soccer season even begins, all the girls have to go through the ImPACT test, which measures players’ symptoms. It measures verbal and visual memory as well as processing speed and reaction time.
If a coach suspects that a player may have suffered a concussion, the player then has to go back and take the ImPACT test again and the parents can take it to a medical professional and decide where to go from there. Haroot suggested that all parents find out what a coach’s concussion protocol is, because coaches are required to take the CDC online course and show that they understand what coaches are.
Dr Oz: King-Devick Test For Concussions
Dr Oz also talked to experts in the area who recommended the King-Devick test which can be done immediately right there on the sideline if a concussion is suspected. The test can be done at home as well. Dr Oz showed the test, which involves reading out lines of numbers that are jumbled together with or without lines to connect them. The test requires the brain to truly work to figure it out and concussion researchers in New York recommend it. Plus, it’s cheap and easy because it’s an app.
Dr Oz believes in the benefits of participating in sports, but parents and coaches need to have the courage to take their kids off the court or field if they feel that they could be at risk