Most people associate common stroke symptoms with sudden weakness, numbness, confusion, and trouble walking, seeing, or speaking, however, you can also have what’s called a “silent stroke.”
What is a silent stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is suddenly stopped. Many strokes cause very obvious symptoms, but when a stroke occurs and is not remembered or you don’t have easily recognizable symptoms, it’s known as a silent stroke.
How can you tell if you’ve had a silent stroke?
You probably won’t realize you’ve had a silent stroke. It can often be detected if you’re having a brain scan such as a CT or MRI for another reason, such as chronic headaches, and evidence of a silent stroke is spotted. It can show up as white spots, scarred tissue, or very small areas of bleeding vessels.
You may also be aware that you’ve developed weakness or problems with memory or thinking. It can also cause imbalance or clumsiness in a limb that only lasts for a few days, so you may not have sought treatment.
What should you do if you suspect you may have had a silent stroke?
You should see a doctor with experience in treating silent strokes. If a scan confirms that a stroke has occurred, your doctor may order more tests to determine your risk factors and recommend steps that will help you control them.
What’s the good news about silent strokes?
It destroys cells in a part of the brain that isn’t responsible for any vital functions, and the damage is too small to produce obvious symptoms. The regions of the brain that are affected by a silent stroke control functions that are also controlled by other areas of the brain, so you may not notice any symptoms.
What’s the bad news?
A silent stroke is associated with risk factors such as heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking. These risk factors can have serious long-term effects on your overall health, but they can often be improved with lifestyle changes, medication, and other measures.
This type of stroke also increases the chances that you’ll have another stroke within a year. If you have recurring silent strokes, they can cause more serious damage to your brain over time, and other areas of your brain may not be able to adequately compensate.
If you suspect that you may have had a silent stroke, make an appointment today. We’ll be able to confirm or rule out the occurrence of a silent stroke and recommend effective treatment for your condition.