Anyone can suffer a traumatic brain injury. Anyone can trip and fall, or get hit by an object, or get into a car accident. As such, everyone should be aware of the consequences of a TBI.
Though a TBI can happen to anyone and in a variety of circumstances, there are certain situations in which they are more common.
Collision sports athletes are at a very high risk of concussion and other brain injuries. Three particularly susceptible sports are football, wrestling, and soccer.
When you think of athletic concussions, you think of football. Football is the definition of a contact sport. Football head injuries occur at every level—high school, college, and professional.
And unfortunately, wearing a helmet does not fully protect players from TBIs. Football head injuries occur at every level—high school, college, and professional. In fact, helmets can often make players feel more protected and encouraged to use their head more recklessly.
While playing football, athletes are at increased risk for multiple concussions as they so often make contact with other players.
More concussions happen in wrestling than in football. In fact, proportionally more concussions occur in wrestling than any other sport. Concussions are especially common in NCAA wrestling. However, some would argue that the reason for the higher number of concussions is not because wrestling is more dangerous than football. Rather, wrestling may have better monitoring of athlete symptoms1.
Wrestlers suffer a lot of blows to the head. Whether wrestlers actually experience more concussions, the dangerous nature of this sport lends itself to potential brain injuries.
Heading is a fundamental part of soccer. A study done last year showed that athletes that head a lot of balls—125 per week—were three times more likely to sustain a concussion2.
But, headers are not the only soccer players at risk. Athletes are at risk of getting hit with a soccer ball or colliding with other athletes. In fact, headers are not the most common reason for concussion but athlete-to-athlete collision.
30% of athletes studied for concussions are females. In recent years, it has been suggested that females are more susceptible and likely to sustain concussions than males. More research is being conducted to assess this claim.
In this study done by Columbia University, 17% of the male athletes and 23% of the female athletes had experienced at least one concussion during their college career3.
At least when it comes to soccer, females have the highest rate of concussions. This number of concussions now outnumbers the concussions experienced in male football4.
Concussions are extremely prevalent among the military.
How prevalent? Around 320,000 brain injuries have occurred in the military since 2000. And the risk is not just associated with combat. Of the 320,000, 80% occurred outside of combat. Military personnel and veterans are susceptible to many different forms of trauma, physical and mental. Concussions and other TBIs affect both spheres.
Military personnel endure situations that require intense physical ability and mental concentration—brain injuries, especially undiagnosed, pose serious risks.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Concussions after car or other vehicle are common and should be watched out for. In fact, about 14% of brain injuries are caused by a vehicle accident.
Following an accident, here are few signs that you might have a concussion.
- Loss of consciousness
- Seeing stars or ringing ears
- Confusion or amnesia
- Trouble sleeping