Zeke | Oakdale, PA
During Mother’s Day weekend 2017, Zeke, 13, and his family were in New Jersey for his in-line hockey club tournament. Zeke was pushed hard into the dasher boards, and by the time he made it back to the bench, he felt dizzy and had a terrible headache.
He’d suffered headaches in the past after hitting his head so he didn’t think much of it since they always resolved. But this time, Zeke’s headache lasted all day and was accompanied by frequent vomiting.
Two days later, Zeke was examined by his pediatrician in Pittsburgh who told him, “you’re going straight to the top,” and referred Zeke to Micky Collins, PhD, clinical and executive director, and the team at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Collins administered the ImPACT® test and determined that Zeke had a convergence insufficiency, or blurred vision, which may have been present prior to the concussion.
“Dr. Collins explained that the preexisting vision problem was aggravated during the hockey game,” says Zeke’s mother, Deanna. Zeke began vision, or ocular, therapy soon after, both at home and at the concussion program’s Wexford office. He also got a prescription for glasses, which, according to Zeke, helped his eyesight “immensely.”
“He had been having some trouble academically and we were getting him extra help,” says Deanna. “Dr. Collins was encouraging from day one and said Zeke might do better in school after the concussion, because it brought his vision issues to the forefront.
“Sure enough, after identifying and correcting the vision problem, his grades started to improve in reading and math. Maybe his concussion was a blessing in disguise, in a way.”
Throughout the summer, Zeke stayed active but didn’t play any contact sports. He remained dedicated to getting better, and he started playing in-line hockey and lacrosse again in the fall.
“Dr. Collins is really nice and spent as much time as I needed with him, since I had a lot of questions,” says Zeke. “I never felt rushed visiting him and his care was great. I’m just glad I’m feeling better now, and I’m really glad that my eyesight is better, too.”
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