The potentially devastating consequences of traumatic brain injuries are known all too well by thousands of Florida residents. However, not everyone is as aware of the devastating effects that seemingly minor or repeated impacts to the head can also have on long-term brain health, not to mention the future prospects of those who experience them.
Mild impacts still cause for concern
While concussions and severe brain traumas are already widely understood to carry significant risks to those who sustain them, until recently, the enduring ramifications of even mild head injuries have been less clear.
However, research now suggests that lingering — sometimes debilitating — harm from head injuries is not always the result of a major trauma, but can also stem from impacts that initially appeared less serious in nature.
Some of the signs to watch for in the aftermath of any impact to the head include:
- Blurry vision
- General disorientation
- Undue fatigue
As such, it is crucial for parents, caretakers, sports coaches, teachers, and others to remain vigilant and attuned to the fact that concussions are not a universal precursor to ongoing ill effects from head impacts. Repeated blows to the head as well as those that at first do not appear to be cause for concern are indeed capable of producing undesired changes to the brain and must be closely monitored when they occur.
Proactive measures needed to minimize harm
While researchers have more to learn about the ramifications of non-concussive or repetitive head impacts, including their role in conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy seen in an alarming number of former football players, there can be no doubt that the addition of enhanced protective gear, aggressive monitoring by coaches and teammates and the continued study of those affected can go a long way toward minimizing the often life-altering outcomes and long-term care needs head trauma can yield.