What Is A “Silent” Stroke And Why Is It Even More Dangerous Than The “Apparent” One?

June 10, 2019 21:09

Nowadays, even young people know about the danger of a stroke. This condition is one of the main diseases that is fraught with disability or even death. Its noticeable signs include drooping of one of the corners of the mouth, the inability to control both sides of the body equally well (partial paralysis), as well as impaired coordination, speech, and swallowing. However, many people suffer a so-called silent stroke and learn about it only when its consequences start to show.

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A stroke is the death of brain tissue caused by a rupture or blockage of a blood vessel inside it. In both cases, the cells no longer receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen, which leads to their death after a few minutes. /

A silent stroke is dangerous because it has no visible symptoms, or the person simply doesn’t remember experiencing them. It is usually diagnosed by chance in the process a routine checkup. Still, many experts can determine a victim of a silent stroke even without special procedures. However, in most cases, screening of the brain is required to identify the extent and severity of the damage. By the way, it is known that about 10% of middle-aged people have suffered a quiet stroke without even knowing it.

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One should be concerned if there are sudden problems with memory or coordination (albeit minor ones). In particular, if the person used to have headaches or the eyesight got worse.

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Other signs of a silent stroke include:

  • slight pain or numbness on one side of the face;
  • frequent dizziness;
  • respiratory problems, resembling arrhythmia (the inability to catch breath);
  • problems, albeit minor, with speech or its perception;
  • unexplained fatigue;
  • sense of confusion and disorientation;
  • reduced ability to concentrate;
  • frequent mood swings;
  • minor difficulties with control of the urinary system (the inability to hold it even for a short time).

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People suffering from hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol, stress, atrial fibrillation, and cerebrovascular disease are at a risk group. Additional triggers are an inactive lifestyle, smoking, and the use of psychotropic drugs. Frequently repeated silent strokes can lead to loss of memory, motor and speech functions.

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The only ways to protect yourself and prevent both a silent and regular stroke is to have regular medical checkups and revise your habits:

  • monitor the blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels;
  • exercise;
  • minimize the level of stress;
  • quit addictions, including bad eating habits;
  • maintain a healthy weight.

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Even one silent stroke takes a heavy toll on health, and its consequences can manifest themselves after a substantial period of time. If you are not sure whether you have had one or something similar to it, it is time to see the doctor and take appropriate preventive measures.

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.