Doctor talking to the patient

The road to recovering from a concussion can be made longer by pre-existing conditions such as learning disabilities, a history of migraines, motion sickness, or eye misalignment. These can all play a role in lengthening the recovery time for concussions.

Read on to learn more about risk factors.

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Concussion Risk Factors: Delaying the Road to Recovery

Do you ever wonder why some people seem more prone to concussion than others? Or why one may suffer symptoms lasting weeks or months, while another seems to recover more quickly?

Here are a few pre-existing conditions that can be a real drag because they increase the chances of sustaining a concussion or having a longer recovery.

History of prior concussions

If not treated appropriately and completely, having a history of concussions may make a person more vulnerable to re-injury.

Motion sickness

Those who naturally have trouble with balance and motion may have a slower recovery.

Visual Problems

Conditions such as strabismus (cross eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye) may make recovery time longer.

Learning Disabilities

Children with learning and attention issues, like ADHD, may take more time to recover.


A personal or family history of this ailment might results in a longer recovery.


Females may have more complex recoveries than males.


Younger children will take longer to recover than older children and adolescents.

It’s important for an individual to understand what his or her personal risk factors are. This will help the doctor in developing an individualized treatment plan.

About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.