Doctors using virtual reality using to protect teens from concussions in the real world

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - Students are heading back to school and athletes back onto fields to compete. Doctors in Pasco County are using cutting edge technology to protect your teens from concussions.

Wednesday at Wiregrass Ranch High School, the football team took on the virtual field.

"Put this oculus on you and it tricks your brain into thinking you're actually in this room in the computer," Director of Sports Medicine & Performance for Florida Hospital Barbara Morris said.

Doctors are using virtual reality to keep student athletes safe from their reality on the playing field.

"It's part of the game you get hit every play basically whether it's a big or a small hit," a rising tenth grader said.

Sports medicine specialists at Florida Hospital say repeated small hits can actually lead to concussions.  HeadRehab technology gives doctors a baseline for future diagnoses.

"We're looking for a comparison so what happens when their normal and then if they were to sustain injury where are they then," Dr. Jonathan Phillips, sports medicine physician at Florida Hospital, said.

The 3-D concussion test looks at spatial relations, balance and reaction time.

"I think it's about time. I think it's time that we do this there's been too many deaths from second impact syndrome with our high school athletes," Morris said.

Florida Hospital is bringing HeadRehab into 13 Pasco County high schools, before each sport starts for the season, all free of charge.

It's also helping student athletes learn about concussions.

Doctors say it's important to talk about concussions with your student athletes. They can experience dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms of concussions for days after impact. 

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