Vision test used to diagnose concussions
Monday, March 10 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
A simple vision test performed on the sidelines may help determine whether athletes have suffered a concussion.
The King-Devick test usually takes less than one minute. It involves quickly reading numbers on index cards. During the study, 217 members of the University of Florida men’s football, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams took the test at the beginning of the season. Thirty of the athletes had a concussion during the season and were tested again at the time of the injury.
The time to complete the test was longer for 79% of the athletes after the injury. The test requires eye movements, language and concentration, all of which can be impaired as a result of concussion.
“The visual pathways are commonly affected in concussion,” said Laura Balcer, lead author of the study. “Adding a vision-based test to evaluate athletes on the sidelines may allow us to better detect more athletes with concussion more quickly. This is particularly important since not all athletes reliably report their symptoms of concussion, including any vision problems.”