How to Recognize the Symptoms of a Silent Stroke

  Mar 18, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Like a regular stroke, a silent one occurs when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets clogged or bursts. It destroys brain cells that control essential functions, but most people don’t experience any symptoms. Doctors often discover such damage on a CT scan or MRI done for another reason. 

Numbness or Tingling in the Face or Extremities

In case you are experiencing numbness, extremities, or some kind of tingling, majorly in only one side of the body, this can certainly be a sign of a Silent stroke. It is induced by a blocked blood vessel that is cutting the brain from its supply.  

You might begin to lose your sense of balance. In fact, may feel like having pins or needles. However, these are temporary symptoms and can be fixed with medicine doses, but a consultation with a doctor should be considered. This will help you to avoid those long-term health complications like muscle weakness or paralysis.  

The numbness or tingling may start strongly, then fade over hours or days. Alternatively, it may come and go over time. Transient paresthesia like this tends to be harmless on its own. But if it keeps recurring, it signifies increased stroke risk factors are piling up, like damage to small arteries or blood vessels in the brain. Getting those risk factors assessed and managed by a neurologist reduces your vulnerability to tissue damage and lasting paralysis from stroke. So whether numbness jolts you once or on multiple occasions, view it as an incentive for prevention.

Difficulty Walking or Speaking

It is witnessed that during the Silent Strokes, a part of the brain gets damaged that is responsible for controlling the movements. Clumsiness, facing troubles in balancing, facing issues in speaking and walking are some of its examples, in such cases, you need to see the doctor immediately. In several cases, people don’t even realize that they have encountered such a condition in the past, unless and until they undergo a brain scan because of any other health condition where doctors realize that their patient has already suffered from this condition by discovering those damaged tissues. 

In so many cases, these situations remain undiagnosed leading to progressive brain damage over time. Do ask your doctors to test the person’s facial muscles to asses any of such symptoms. Additionally, do ask them to raise their arms and try to observe whether their one arm drifts downward or not. Find out if their face droops. Make them speak aloud? Check if their speech is slurred or tough to understand. As all these are the signs of a stroke. 

Individuals may struggle to find their words or use the wrong words unintentionally. The problems could come and go. Regardless of severity or duration, any brand-new neurologic difficulties like this warrant urgent medical evaluation. Getting appropriate diagnosis and treatment makes more severe impairment, disability, or life-threatening stroke complications less likely down the road.

If it is diagnosed on time, it will help doctors to wisely prevent the risk factors like blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyle, and atrial fibration that further raises the chances of another one. 

Loss of Memory or Concentration

When a person experiences, this shows symptoms like numbness on one side of the body, trouble speaking or balance, and vision problems, they know to call 911 immediately. They’ll likely undergo a brain scan to determine the cause. However, one that interrupts blood flow to part of the brain can be less dramatic and may even go unnoticed. More than a third of people over 70 have suffered from it.

As more of these tiny wounds accumulate, they worsen mental fuzziness. What begins as occasional or mild confusion and forgetfulness progresses to more memory loss and concentration if left unchecked. Getting evaluated quickly when these symptoms start means you can access imaging tests to detect otherwise invisible damage from silent strokes. Then, you can benefit from treatments to prevent additional injury in vulnerable brain tissue. Don’t chalk up every mental slip to the normal aging process without considering silent stroke potential.

Often, the person doesn’t find out that they have had a silent stroke until they go to the doctor for screening of another health condition and their doctor sees telltale white spots on their brain scan indicating damage from this condition. This type of situation can raise a person’s risk for future strokes and contribute to cognitive impairment and dementia. 

Changes in Personality

It can have subtle effects, making them hard to recognize or diagnose. Many people don’t find out they’ve had one until they undergo a brain scan for another health issue and doctors discover the damage. Over time, these subtle symptoms can add up and lead to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, or even dementia. 

Sometimes, a person’s changes in personality can be the first clue they’ve had a silent stroke. These alterations can include being unusually irritable or having trouble concentrating. In addition, some survivors develop pseudobulbar affect, which causes uncontrollable emotional expressions like inappropriate crying or laughing. 
These behavioral changes can be complicated for loved ones to handle. Furthermore, it is extremely necessary to remember that the behavior that arises due to brain damage induced by Stroke is not of malicious intent at all. The significant key is to go for the appropriate treatment without wasting time.