Concentration Problems

Stroke can cause problems with concentration. This can be especially common in the early stages after stroke. Concentration is when you focus all your attention or mental effort on something specific. This means that your brain has to screen out a lot of incoming information that is not relevant to your task. A stroke can affect your brain’s ability to do this as effectively as before the stroke. It can also be difficult for you to stay focused on something for a period of time. In addition, tiredness, pain or emotional problems, such as anxiety or feeling sad, can also affect your ability to take in information and stay focused.

Signs of Concentration Problems

  • Difficulty filtering out what’s going on around you. For example, it may be difficult to chat to someone in a noisy room or find what you’re looking for in the supermarket.
  • Staying focused on a single task, such as reading a book or watching a TV show.
  • Problems with moving from one task to another. For example, if you’re interrupted, you may find it difficult to return to whatever you were doing before.
  • Doing more than one thing at once, such as making a cup of tea while trying to talk with someone at the same time.
  • Difficulty processing information. You may find it hard to follow people who talk very quickly or it may take you longer to do things than it used to.

Tips to Help with Your Concentration

  1. Do one thing at a time.
  2. Remove distractions and clutter.
  3. Make things easier for yourself by keeping a to-do list.
  4. Know your limits and give yourself a break.