Have you had a stroke? How could you tell?
A stroke is a sudden stop of blood supply to part of
the brain. Some people have strokes without ever
knowing it. These so-called silent strokes either
have no easy-to-recognize symptoms, or you
don’t remember them. But they do cause
permanent damage in your brain.
If you've had more than one silent stroke, you may
have thinking and memory problems. They can
also lead to more severe strokes.
Detecting a Silent Stroke
If you have a silent stroke, you probably won’t
know it, unless you happen to have a brain scan
and the damage shows up. You may have slight
memory problems or a little difficulty getting
around. A doctor may be able to see signs of silent
strokes without testing.
Different From TIA
Like most regular strokes, silent strokes are
caused by blood clots in the brain that don't
Warning strokes, known as TIAs, or transient
ischemic attacks, are caused by blood clots that
dissolve on their own in 5 minutes or less. Unlike
silent strokes, they don't permanently damage the
brain. If you have a TIA , you’ll probably have some
of these typical stroke symptoms:
One side of the face drooping or feeling numb
Weakness or numbness in one arm or leg
Slurred or hard-to-understand speech
Difficulty understanding speech
Sudden loss of balance or coordination
Sudden severe headaches
If you have any of these symptoms, call 911, even
if it goes away after a few minutes. Like strokes,
TIAs are medical emergencies, and it's important
to treat them quickly.
Silent Strokes More Common Than
A study of middle-aged people with no apparent
signs of stroke found that about 10% had brain
damage from one.
High blood pressure and irregular heartbeat raise
The damage that occurs is permanent, but therapy
might help you regain functions that may have
weakened, using other parts of your brain.
Prevent Strokes With Good Habits
These healthy habits can help you lower your risk
of both stroke and heart disease:
Monitor and control your blood pressure.
Monitor and control your cholesterol .
Keep your blood sugar under control.
If you smoke, quit.
Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Cut back
on fat, salt, and sugar.
Get regular exercise.
Keep a healthy weight.