World Cup fever primes concussion discussions

World Cup fever primes concussion discussions

In so many words, soccer is a head game.

"In every community kids are playing sports, and that risk of concussion is always there."

Ask the U.S. Men's National Team about the cerebral thinking required for a through pass. Ask U.S. defender John Brooks about his header to defeat Ghana. Or, ask teammate Jermaine Jones about suffering a jolting blow to the head against Germany last week. For better or worse, soccer involves the noggin an awful lot, and that's something for practitioners to consider.

Soccer doesn't have the concussion prevalence of football or hockey, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions are fairly common in the game. The CDC reports in youth sports alone, girls' soccer athletes accounted for the third-highest rate of concussions in high school sports at a rate of about 36 cases per 100,000 single participants in 2011.

"One of the leading causes of sports-related concussions in the world is soccer, and it's something to watch for in the World Cup," said Fraser Horn, O.D., AOA Sports Vision Section chair, in a previous interview. "In every community kids are playing sports, and that risk of concussion is always there. We need to be ready for these TBIs to come in."

And today, while all eyes are fixed on Brazil as the U.S. takes on Belgium in the next round of the 2014 World Cup, take advantage of a free AOA member resource that can help in the management of patients' traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Access clinical manual for free
The AOA Vision Rehabilitation Section's new Brain Injury Electronic Resource Manual (BIERM), a comprehensive resource to aid optometrists in evaluating patients with brain injury, is now available online to all AOA members. The BIERM discusses areas of evaluation and assessment, including:

  • Tips for better examinations and evaluations;
  • Reviewing patients' TBI history;
  • Diagnosing visual disorders associated with TBI; and
  • Coordinating with an interprofessional care team.

A subsequent edition of the BIERM in development will focus on treatment and management of TBI patients over time. Visit the section membership page for information about how to join the Sports Vision, Vision Rehabilitation and Contact Lens & Cornea sections.

Read about optometry's role in the multidisciplinary approach to concussion management and more from Dr. Horn's interview in the upcoming September edition of AOA Focus.

July 1, 2014

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