Can you have a “silent” stroke?
You may know that it’s possible to have a heart attack and have no idea before you do. The “silent” shots are also a reality.
The American Heart Association estimates that up to a quarter of octogenarians (a person between the ages of 80 and 89) may have suffered one or more strokes without any noticeable symptoms.
Strokes are often learned later during brain imaging for other reasons.
Silent strokes are often caused by low blood flow in one of the brain’s smaller arteries. They can occur without apparent symptoms if they affect a part of the brain that is not responsible for major movements or vital functions.
Instead of producing typical stroke symptoms like limb weakness or paralysis or difficulty speaking, it can, at most, produce symptoms like regular clumsiness or random memory lapses, things that can easily be attributed to age or anything else.
It can be scary. Just because a silent hit may not be noticeable, it may expose you to a larger episode with more serious consequences.
Preventing silent strokes is similar to what you would do to prevent a serious stroke or heart attack. This includes a heart-healthy living strategy aimed at reducing the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.
Using tools like diet, exercise, weight management, not smoking, and limiting alcohol can help reduce cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia.
Try to include as many fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains in your diet as possible. Also try to eat lean protein at least once or twice a day to help encourage the production of nitrous oxide which can improve blood circulation. Healthy fats, like omega-3s, found in fish, and unsaturated fats from nuts, olive oil and avocado, are also helpful.
Being aware of silent strokes and heart attacks can help take preventive measures.