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Using the King Devick Test for Diagnosing Concussion

Category: General Eye Health

Published: 2016-10-17

Participating in sports is a fun way to get exercise, and provides valuable lessons in teamwork for teenagers. However, every sport comes with a degree of risk that athletes, coaches, and parents should be well aware of. For example, soccer, football, basketball, and other contact sports carry the risk of concussion.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that is usually caused by a traumatic blow to the head. A concussion may also be caused by a fall or a blow to the body that results in the brain being shaken inside the skull. Upon contact with the skull, the brain suffers a serious injury that could result in a coma or death if left unaddressed. Symptoms of concussion include vision problems like double vision, dizziness, headaches, memory loss and in some cases loss of consciousness.

How does the King-Devick test work?

Unfortunately, concussions are not visible on routine brain scans and must be diagnosed through other means. The King-Devick testonly takes a couple minutes, and can be easily administered by a coach or parent on the sidelines. The athlete is given a card with a series of single digit numbers, which the athlete must read in a timely manner. The amount of time and number of errors is recorded and compared against a baseline score obtained prior to any injury. This test is extremely accurate, and has helped thousands of athletes receive the care they need.

When should the test be administered?

The King-Devick test should be administered anytime someone is suspected to have suffered a concussion. If you’re a parent or coach who sees a young athlete suffer a head injury and behave strangely afterward, consider administering the King-Devick test. It only takes two minutes, and is the first step toward ensuring that the young athlete receives prompt medical treatment.

If left untreated, a concussion can cause severe vision problems. To learn more about the King-Devick test and eye care in general, turn to the Hoover vision care professionals at Schaeffer Eye Center. We’ve been providing Birmingham-area residents with prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses for over 30 years.