Destruction And Disaster: How Concussions Affect People
People usually enjoy high impact sports like American football, soccer, rugby, and hockey. These games are considered to be one the world’s most watched events. The super bowl alone is viewed by almost a hundred million Americans, while FIFA or Fédération Internationale de Football Association, enjoys healthy and often massive viewership numbers because of its appeal to the global audience.
Injuries, however, are real things in these kinds of sports. From broken bones to major cuts and gashes, the list goes on. Concussions are often part of these injuries. A concussion is a minor brain trauma. It happens when the brain is shaken and hits the walls of the skull. This impact often results in temporary brain malfunction.
Symptoms related to concussion often come in two distinct categories: Physical and Cognitive/Emotional. With physical symptoms, concussions often bring dizziness, nausea, vertigo, loss of balance and motor coordination. Vision is also affected as it can cause light sensitivity, double vision, and sometimes in rare cases, total loss of sight. In the more severe cases, concussions like that of famed basketball coach Rudy Tomjanovich, can present bizarre and unsettling symptoms like CSF (Cerebrospinal Fluid) leaking out of his ears and nose.
Cognitive and emotional effects that are known are confusion, difficulty in maintaining attention, and disorientation. Loss of consciousness can also occur but in the rarer cases. Post Traumatic Amnesia is often associated with a concussion and can be used to diagnose one.
Emotional effects can significantly be affected by a concussion. People sometimes become moody and irritable. Favorite items may no longer be liked or even become hated, melancholia, and sufferers often exhibit inappropriate emotional displays. Concussions can also be signs related to back and spinal injuries in high impact sports.
Here are some concussions that shook the world of sports in the past few years:
Rudy Tomjanovich and Kermit Washington – December 9, 1997
A scuffle broke out between the Lakers and Rockets and players began storming the court. A string of events led to a brawl, and Rudy Tomjanovich ran towards Kermit Washington to break up the fight. Kermit saw this as an act of aggression and hit Rudy with a punch so strong that other players thought Rudy had died because of it. CSF oozed from his ears and nose. This accident forever changed Rudy’s career since he was never the same and was forced to retire early.
Christoph Kramer – 2014 FIFA World Cup
Kramer started the game for Germany against Argentina. Kramer was then forced off the field because of a knee he received from Ezequiel Garay. The knee hit his jawbone and Kramer went to on to play for another 30 minutes before being escorted out of the game. Before being carried out, a referee went to him, and Kramer asked: “Is this the finals ref?”
Ben Czislowski – Australian Rugby
Ben Czislowski was famously known to have a tooth lodged in his head while still playing rugby for three months. What happened was, three months before having headaches and an eye infection, Ben had suffered a head-on collision with opposing player Matt Austin. A visit to his doctor eventually revealed Matt’s tooth still stuck in Ben’s head.
Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao – May 2, 2009
In the first round, Pacquiao had already landed three straight blows, before Ricky Hatton crashed to the floor. Manny then threw another punch that landed 9 seconds before the bell rang going into the 2nd round. Finally, on the 2:59-minute mark of the 2nd round, Pacquiao landed his patented left hook on Ricky, and he crashed to the canvas instantly. The sight was so horrible that people assumed Hatton was dead because he lay unconscious on the mat for several minutes.
After the bout, Ricky Hatton suffered a lot of emotional trauma and even contemplated suicide. He was eventually forced to retire early.
Concussions in sports are significant injuries that should be tended to immediately. A lot of athletes and ordinary people think that they can just shrug off a concussion. The effects often become catastrophic similar to that of the Hatton-Pacquiao bout. Thankfully, a lot of advances in medicine have made diagnosing for concussions a lot easier.