What are the most common effects of stroke?
Your brain controls how you move, feel, think and behave. Brain injury from a stroke may affect any of these abilities. You may experience some of these effects of stroke:
- Hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body) or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body)
- One-sided neglect - As a result of hemiparesis or hemiplegia, motor impairment and loss of sensation on one side of the body often cause stroke survivors to ignore or forget their affected side.
- Aphasia (difficulty with speech and language) or dysphagia (trouble swallowing)
- Decreased field of vision and trouble with visual perception
- Loss of emotional control and changes in mood
- Cognitive changes (problems with memory, judgment, problem solving or a combination of these)
- Behavior changes (personality changes, improper language or actions)
What are common emotional effects of stroke?
- Apathy and lack of motivation
- Frustration, anger and sadness
- Reflex crying (emotions may change rapidly and sometimes not match the mood)
- Denial of the changes caused by the brain injury
Will I get better?
In most cases people do get better. The effects of a stroke are greatest immediately after the stroke occurs. From then on, you may start to get better. How fast and how much you improve depends on the extent of the brain injury and the success of rehabilitation.
- Recovering your abilities begins after the stroke is over and you're medically stable.
- Some improvement occurs spontaneously and relates to how the brain works again after it's been injured.
- Stroke rehabilitation programs help you improve your abilities and learn new skills and coping techniques.
- Depression after stroke can interfere with rehabilitation. It's important that it be treated.
- Improvement often occurs most quickly in the first months after a stroke, then continues over years with your continued efforts.
What are the warning signs of stroke?
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headaches with no known cause
Learn to recognize a stroke, because time lost is brain lost.
Today there are treatments that can reduce the risk of damage from the most common type of stroke, but only if you get help quickly - within 3 hours of your first symptoms.
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience these warning signs!
Content courtesy of: American Heart Association