Can you have a stroke without knowing it?

Some people have strokes without realising it. They're called silent strokes.

What is a silent stroke?

Some people have strokes without realising it. They're called silent strokes, and they have no easy-to-recognise symptoms.

Worse still, just because you don’t know that you have had a stroke, it doesn’t mean that it can’t cause permanent brain damage. While damage can be permanent, therapy could help by stimulating other parts of the brain to allow recovery of abilities that may have weakened.

Having more than one silent stroke may lead to thinking and memory problems. And silent strokes 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.

A 2011 Canadian study found that a quarter of seniors over 70 had suffered from silent strokes without knowing.

How to prevent silent strokes
If you suffer from high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat you will have an increased risk of stroke. Tackling these issues either through a change to your diet or regular exercise will help lower your odds of stroke and heart disease.

Other things that you can do to decrease your stroke risk include quitting smoking, regularly checking your cholesterol levels, eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and cutting back on saturated fats, salt and sugar.

Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed as having suffered from silent stroke? How did they find out about it?


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    29th Oct 2018
    Depends on which nervous system is compromised, the one that keeps the heart beating or the sensory nervous system that affects perception of hot and cold, touch and other things. The blood supply to the nerves is usually the one that gets hit with mini strokes.

    This is putting it as simple as possible as there are proper names for the different nervous systems

    As from 2006 I got continuous chronic pain in the spine, amplified hearing and amplified perception of temperature drop (eg) painful coldness walking into air conditioning. The MRI showed a wide array of damage to small blood vessels in the brain, but they don't know how to relate this damage to the sensory nerves and come up with a proper diagnosis.

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