Concentration Problems

Head | Neurology | Concentration Problems (Symptom)


Concentration difficulty is a condition characterized by low ability to keep focus within different activities. Concentration difficulties can also involve problems like staying awake, impulsiveness, intrusive thoughts or concerns, overactivity, or inattention.

Concentration difficulties may be long-term, established conditions, as in the case of attention deficit disorder, or they may arise as a result of illness or another event.


The causes can be medical, cognitive or psychological problems or may be related to sleep disorders or medications, alcohol or drugs.

Medical conditions that are known to cause difficulties with concentration include a variety of chronic illnesses, sleep apnea, heavy metal poisoning, infections, pain syndromes, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menopause or pregnancy, can also affect how we think and concentrate.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cognitive problems that can be associated with concentration difficulties include attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, vision disorders, delirium, and dementia. The hallmark condition associated with difficulty concentrating is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that has been increasingly diagnosed in both children and adults in recent years. Psychological conditions that can interfere with concentration include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder (alternating periods of depression and elevated mood), emotional trauma, and stress.

Depending upon the cause, concentration difficulties may resolve with appropriate treatment.