Many people are aware of the obvious signs of a stroke such as an excess drooping of the face due to relaxed muscles, but the fact is, there can also be silent stroke symptoms. This means it is completely possible to have a stroke without even noticing. However, the results of having a stroke can have a huge effect on a person’s body, including permanent damage to the brain and brain cells.
Silent stroke symptoms
A stroke that is followed by lesser known or less obvious symptoms can sometimes be far more damaging to the brain and body as a whole. Those who do not know they have had a stroke may go longer leaving their bodies untreated for stroke prevention. Unlike events such as a heart attack where there could be obvious signs of discomfort or pain, a silent stroke may include the following symptoms:
- Sudden lack of balance
- Temporary loss of basic muscle movement (bladder included)
- Slight memory loss
- Sudden changes in mood or personality
- Issues with cognitive skills and ability
During anytime, if any of these silent symptoms are noticed, an ambulance should be called immediately. Even if the individual claims that the symptoms are no longer apparent, medical help should be sought as soon as possible in case delayed complications arise following a stroke.
Common stroke symptoms
In severe cases, strokes can come with obvious signs of anguish or pain in a person. Strokes can also take place in different areas of the brain, which can cause a variety of side effects including brain damage.
Brain Stem – Starting with the lower portion of the brain, the brain stem can be heavily affected by a stroke. Damage to the brain stem can alter major natural functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate, and more. Severe results of a stroke affecting this area can cause an individual to go into a coma. This usually means the area around the brain stem is swollen, which places additional pressure on the brain stem as well. Sometimes, a stroke within the brain stem can be fatal.
Cerebellum – The cerebellum controls our balance and basic coordination. A stroke that affects the cerebellum may cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and issues with coordination and balance. One might also experience a tingly or numb feeling within the limbs as a result of a stroke to this part of the brain.
Temporal – The temporal lobe is where we effectively process language, word recognition, hearing, smell, and important facets of our personality like memory and emotion. To suffer from a stroke within the temporal lobe one might experience memory loss.
Occipital – The occipital portion of the brain is associated with vision. Someone may experience changes to their vision as the result of a stroke within the occipital lobe.
Parietal – When a stroke occurs within the parietal lobe, one may feel the loss of sensation in the limbs, and run into problems with reasoning and language.
Frontal – The frontal lobe controls a ton of different movements including the eyes, limbs, emotions, and speech. Someone who suffers a frontal lobe stroke may experience issues with all or some of these functions during and following the stroke.
What causes a stroke?
The brain needs oxygen-rich blood and an uninterrupted blood flow to function properly. When the brain is cut off from oxygen a stroke occurs. Depending on which part of the brain experiences damage, symptoms of a stroke may vary. A mini stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) can also occur previous to a real stroke. Those who have experienced a mini stroke before are far more likely to suffer from an actual stroke in the future. Symptoms for a mini stroke can disappear quickly, but medical assistance should still be utilized to prevent future issues from occurring.
There are two types of strokes. An ischaemic stroke is the result of a blockage such as a blood clot, and a hemorrhagic stroke is the result of a bleed. Strokes are more likely to be distinguished as an ischaemic stroke, the result of a blockage. Strokes that are categorized as hemorrhagic might require surgery to alleviate symptoms and help the individual recover and heal.
The recovery process after having a stroke can be long and exhausting. However, there are a number of ways to provide assistance to those who have suffered a stroke in the past.
For those who have had issues with muscle movement or coordination, physiotherapists can be made available to help patients increase their level of movement. Dieticians can help those who have had a stroke and are having difficulty swallowing or chewing food. Finally, speech and language therapists often have special training for those seeking stroke rehabilitation after struggling with verbal communication.
Steps towards prevention
Strokes and heart attacks often go hand in hand with each other as both can be caused by blockages or buildup surrounding their respective major organs, the heart and brain. Although strokes are more likely to happen to those over the age of 65, especially for those who have existing heart disease conditions, preventive health should take place during an individual’s younger years.
Individuals can avoid silent stroke symptoms by exercising 3-5 times a week, eating a balanced diet, keeping your high blood pressure low by practicing yoga or other forms of meditation, quitting smoking, cutting back on sugar, and reducing alcohol and salt intake.