Signs and symptoms of a concussion include headache, difficulty thinking clearly, feeling "slowed down" or in a daze, and sensitivity to light and sound, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Difficulty concentrating, irritability, sleep changes and blurred vision are additional symptoms.
In mild concussions, symptoms may be subtle, explains Mayo Clinic. They may develop hours or days after the injury and take weeks to resolve. Caregivers should watch for serious signs of a head injury, even with a mild concussion. These signs include unequal pupils, slurred speech, changes in physical coordination, a headache that worsens over time, and confusion or disorientation. Medical care is needed if these symptoms develop.
Treatment for a concussion depends on the severity of the injury, notes Healthline. Surgery may be required if there is evidence of bleeding or swelling in the brain. Observation, whether in the hospital or at home helps ensure that immediate medical care is available if symptoms worsen. Headaches may be treated with a nonprescription pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. A doctor may prescribe a stronger analgesic if necessary. Resting, avoiding strenuous activity, and refraining from driving or riding a bike for several days also help recovery from a concussion.
Second impact syndrome, or SIS, is a potential complication of a concussion. It occurs when a person suffers a second concussion before an initial concussion fully heals, states Healthline. SIS increases the risk of serious brain swelling and may be fatal.