Silent Stroke Symptoms
Noticeable signs, such as slurred speech or sudden vision problems, usually accompany having a stroke. However, silent strokes can be much more difficult to notice. Silent strokes increase the risk of progressive brain damage, it’s important to be familiar with possible symptoms.
Stroke vs. Silent Stroke
A stroke happens when blood flow to certain parts of your brain is suddenly stopped or interrupted. This prevents nutrients and oxygen from reaching these parts of the brain, which can result in irreversible damage. Since a stroke typically affects parts of the brain associated with vital functions, symptoms are usually highly noticeable.
A silent stroke can happen when a blood clot or other injury prevents blood from reaching certain parts of the brain. This type of stroke usually affects parts of the brain that aren’t linked to vital functions, making symptoms much harder to notice. Silent strokes can occur over time and cause progressive damage to the brain. This damage can become worse, especially if you suffer from more than one silent stroke.
Effects of a Silent Stroke
Silent strokes can cause damage that’s difficult to detect at first. As this damage becomes more severe, the effects of silent strokes become easier to notice. Silent strokes can cause cognitive impairment, memory loss, visual field problems and migraines. These effects can develop as lesions form in the front part of the brain that controls executive function. Silent strokes also increase the risk of having other kinds of strokes.
Warning Signs of a Silent Stroke
Knowing whether or not you’re having a silent stroke can be hard to determine. This type of stroke usually doesn’t cause symptoms that are easy to detect. In fact, doctors usually notice that patients have had silent strokes only when they have an MRI done. MRIs show evidence of damage to certain parts of the brain that silent strokes generally affect. However, there are a couple of warning signs that might indicate you’re having a silent stroke. These include severe headaches or migraines and severe fatigue that occur suddenly.
When to Seek Care
If you’re having warning signs of a silent stroke, it’s important to seek medical care to determine if you’ve suffered any harmful side effects. You should also seek emergency care if you or a loved one shows signs of a stroke in general, such as a drooping face, numbness in your arm, trouble speaking or the sudden onset of blurry vision or double vision. Other signs include feeling confused or having trouble thinking clearly.
There are several ways to lower your risk of having a stroke, including silent strokes. These include maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, giving up smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. You can also reduce your risk of having a stroke by lowering your risk of diabetes or managing this disease if you have it. Other ways include being physically active on a regular basis and taking low-dose aspirin or other medication that helps prevent blood clots from forming.
For more information on silent stroke symptoms or to reduce your risk of strokes, please contact Complete Neurological Care to book an appointment today.