What Does Unable to Concentrate Mean?
rely on concentration to get through work or school every day. When youâre
unable to concentrate, you canât think clearly, focus on a task, or maintain
performance at work or school could be affected if you canât concentrate. You
may also find that you canât think as well, which can affect your decision-making.
A number of medical conditions may contribute to or cause inability to
concentrate. Itâs not always a medical emergency, but being unable to
concentrate can warrant medical attention.
What Are the Symptoms of Being Unable to
Being unable to concentrate affects people
differently. Some symptoms you may experience include:
being unable to remember
things that occurred a short time agodifficulty sitting still difficulty thinking clearly frequently losing things or difficulty
remembering where things areinability to make decisionsinability to perform
complicated tasks lack of focus lacking physical or mental
energy to concentratemaking careless mistakes
You may notice that itâs harder to concentrate at
certain times of day or in certain settings. Others may comment that you appear
distracted. You may miss appointments or meetings because of a lack of focus.
What Are the Causes of Being Unable to Concentrate?
Being unable to concentrate can be the result of a
chronic condition, including:
alcoholism or alcohol abuse attention deficit disorder chronic fatigue syndrome concussion Cushing diseasedementia epilepsyinsomnia major depressive disorder mental disorders, such as
schizophreniarestless leg syndrome
Lifestyle changes that affect your concentration
lack of sleephungeranxietyexcess stress
Being unable to concentrate is also a side effect of
some medications. Read the insert carefully. Contact your doctor or pharmacist
to determine if your medications may be affecting your concentration. Donât stop
taking any medications unless your doctor says to.
When Do I Seek Medical Help for Being Unable to
You should get immediate medical attention if you experience any
of the following symptoms in addition to being unable to concentrate:
loss of consciousnessnumbness or tingling on one
side of your body severe chest pain severe headache sudden, unexplained memory
loss unawareness of where you are
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you experience the
affected memory that is
worse than usual decreased performance in
work or school difficulty sleeping unusual feelings of
You should also make an appointment to see your
doctor if being unable to concentrate affects your abilities to go through
daily life or enjoy your life.
How Is Being Unable to Concentrate Diagnosed?
Diagnosing your condition could involve a variety of
tests because there are many causes. Your doctor will start by gathering a
health history as well as discussing your symptoms. Questions asked may include,
âWhen did you first notice this condition?â and âWhen is your ability to
Your doctor may also review medications, supplements,
and herbs you may be taking to determine if they could be affecting your
Taking all this information into consideration, your
doctor may be able to make a diagnosis or recommend further testing. He or she
may recommend one or more of these tests:
blood testing to determine hormone levels computed tomography (CT) scans to view brain
abnormalities electroencephalography (EEG) that measures
electrical activity in the scalp
Diagnosis for inability to concentrate may take time and more evaluation.
How Is Being Unable to Concentrate Treated?
You may be able to make changes that improve your
ability to concentrate if it is lifestyle related. Examples include:
eating a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits,
vegetables, and lean proteinseating several small meals each day getting more sleepreducing caffeine intaketaking steps to reduce stress, such as meditating,
writing in a journal, or reading a book
Other treatments will depend upon your specific diagnosis. For
example, people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
may need several different treatment approaches. This includes behavioral
therapy to limit distractions or medications to improve concentration. It can
also include parent education.