Why You May Want to Avoid Reading in the Initial Stages of Recovery
You’ve been in a car accident, had a slip and fall or banged your head in some recreational activity. Your brain and your body need some rest. Why not curl up with a good book and let a good author entertain you while you heal? Not so fast…
Is Reading a Good Idea after a Head Injury?
While reading may seem like a passive activity, it can actually engage your brain at a relatively high level, putting unnecessary stress on your neural pathways, and thereby interfering with the healing process. That’s not to say, however, that you shouldn’t read at all in the aftermath of a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Typically, if you’ve suffered any type of trauma to your brain, you’ll experience almost immediate headaches, which may persist for hours, days or weeks. When you try to read after a TBI, you can expect the onset of those symptoms more rapidly, often within 5 to 20 minutes, based on whether you are reading printed materials or looking at a screen.
Reading Printed Texts vs. Screens
Reading (or just looking at) anything on any type of a screen requires far more mental effort than viewing printed materials. The images that appear on your HDTV or smartphone are made up of continually varying radio waves, which require your brain to work harder to identify an image. It’s common, in the aftermath of a concussion, to start to experience a headache after reading printed materials for approximately 20 minutes or using a screen for about five minutes. In fact, it’s not just reading on a screen that can overstimulate your brain—you want to avoid video games, text messaging, social media platforms and the use of desktop computers until cleared by your doctor.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer any type of concussion, TBI or traumatic brain injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.