AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Vision Symptoms Following Concussion Can Limit a Child's Ability to Return to the Classroom

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A comprehensive vision assessment should be part of return-to-learn protocols to help determine when children are ready to return to the classroom following concussions — particularly in children reporting academic difficulty. “As we continue to try to improve concussion protocols, specifically when it comes to children, it is important that we understand the effects of a concussion on a child’s ability to learn,” said Mark Swanson, O.D., associate professor in the UAB School of Optometry. “Concussed children with vision symptoms, hearing disturbances and difficulty concentrating often have academic difficulty post-concussion.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, the estimated rate of childhood traumatic brain injury visits to an emergency department more than doubled between the years 2001 and 2009, and indicated that children are more likely than any other group to present to emergency departments with concussions. The majority of pediatric patients with a concussion resolve within seven to 10 days without complications. Pediatric concussed patients who report lingering symptoms for a longer duration often have academic difficulty.

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