Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussions: Information You Should Know 

Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is a term used to describe a wide variety of impacts to the head including mild, moderate and severe. TBI can completely transform the way that a child learns, behaves, thinks and reacts in and out of the classroom. Concussions are a form of TBI that are caused specifically by a bump, jolt or blow to the skull. What do you need to know about TBI and its effects? 

Thank you to Shoshana Shamburg for allowing me to use her Brain Injury page.

It's Not Always Diagnosed in Time

A recent newspaper article described a young football player, in the prime of his life, who passed away due to chronic brain trauma. He suffered from light sensitivity, headaches, migraines and difficulty reading at his time of death. Irlen® Spectral Filters and Irlen® diagnostic tests would have been able to diagnose and begin to remedy his severe TBI.

Michael Keck knew that he had a problem with his brain, as his memory was failing, he struggled to concentrate and he felt uncharacteristically emotional and short-fused. He worried that, due to his almost twenty years of football experience, he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

By the time Michael was a junior in college, he had sustained more than 10 concussions. The cumulative effects of these traumatic brain injuries resulted in extreme light sensitivity and excruciating headaches. Even after taking a break in between football seasons, Michael still had vision blackouts and an inability to read. Michael, unfortunately, didn't get help in time.  


The Symptoms You Should Know 

TBI is the leading cause of disability in children and adolescents throughout the United States. While effects might appear mild at first, they will worsen as the brain continues to develop and mature. What are some of the signs that your child, someone you love or even yourself might be suffering from a concussion or more severe form of TBI? 


  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Inability to balance
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Nausea
  • Slurred Speech
  • Visual blackouts
  • Vomiting
  • Impulsivity 

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Decreased memory
  • Receptive aphasia (not understanding spoken words)
  • Expressive aphasia (not being able to speak clearly)
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Aggression
  • Irritability




What Can You Do?

If you are concerned that your child or teenager is suffering from the effects of a TBI, contact their doctor immediately. Work with the Irlen® Diagnostics Center to determine the best ways to get your child on the right track again. The most common treatments for visual issues as a result of TBI is Irlen® Spectral Filters. Irlen® Spectral Filters, specially tinted to your child’s needs, to filter out light and improve their visual experience. Spectral Filters can help alleviate issues with reading, headaches, depth perception, light sensitivity and sports performance.

See the book Sports Concussions and Getting Back in the Game... of Life. By Helen Irlen.