Healing from Concussion - Screen Time Yes or No?

October 19, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s a question we hear a lot about, “I have a concussion – Now how do I get better”?

There have been many studies over the years on recovery strategies and much of the advice can seem contradictory. In the not too far past it was thought that if someone had “their bell rung” or was knocked out then they should be woken every hour while sleeping for the first night to make sure they were ok. Advice moved to total darkness and silent non-active rest, to some activity, to no tv, and on and on.

We know that in any case of a concussion the best advice to follow is what the physicians tell you to do. Not all concussions are equal and not all patients are the same. We also know that as we slowly improve our understanding of brain damage, its causes and chemistry, that recommendations change.

Screen Time Post Concussion

A new study tries to determine whether screen time of any kind is appropriate post-concussion. Here is what they found. The findings of the study were published in JAMA Pediatrics. Currently, there are limited recommendations. The study took 125 patients aged 12-25 who presented to emergency departments within 24 hours of a concussion.

These patients were split into two groups. One was permitted to engage in screen time and the other was asked to abstain entirely for 48 hours post-concussion.

What Were the Results

Given that the average American teen spends up to 7 hours a day on screens (excluding school) a common question asked in emergency rooms visits by parents is about screen time.

For the trial, both groups were advised to avoid work and schoolwork for 48 hours. All of the patients were asked to complete a Post-Concussion Symptom Scale at diagnosis and every day after for the 10-day study.

In this trial, the clinical evidence showed that restricting the screen time for the first 48 hours post-concussion resulted in patients suffering from symptoms for a significantly shorter time than those who were allowed to spend time at a computer, TV or phone screen.

Data analysis found that those youth who were permitted to have screen time for the first 48 hours experienced a median recovery time of 8 days, while the no-screen time group had a median recovery period of 3.5 days.

Why Does Screen Time Cause Longer Symptoms?

While it isn’t clear what the exact reasons are that screen time makes concussion symptoms worse the researchers think it is possible that electronic photons (migraine triggers) may play a role. They also suspect that screen use detracts from sleeping time and form normal activities which are thought to be beneficial for recovery from brain injury.

The findings of the study support larger, longer-term,  and more detailed future studies to determine if the results are supported.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Concussion Syndrome, concussion, traumatic brain injury

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About Deutschmann Law

Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

Practice Areas

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