Table of contents:
After having a stroke, a person can have several mild or severe sequelae, depending on the affected region of the brain, as well as the time that this region has been without blood.
The most common sequel is loss of strength, which can end up causing difficulty walking or speaking, which are consequences that can be temporary or last a lifetime.
To reduce the limitations caused by the stroke, it may be necessary to undergo physiotherapy, speech therapy and cognitive stimulation with the help of a physical therapist, speech therapist or nurse to gain more autonomy and recover, as initially the person may be much more dependent on another person to carry out day-to-day tasks, such as bathing or eating.
The following is a list of the most common sequelae in people who have suffered a stroke:
1. Difficulty moving the body
Difficulty in walking, lying down or sitting occurs due to loss of strength, muscle and balance on one side of the body, with the arm and leg on one side of the body paralyzed, a situation known as hemiplegia.
In addition, the sensation of the affected arm or leg may also be reduced, increasing the risk of falling and injuring themselves.
2. Face changes
After a stroke, the face may become asymmetrical, with a crooked mouth, forehead without wrinkles and drooping eye on only one side of the face.
Some people may also have difficulty swallowing food, whether solids or liquids, known as dysphagia, which increases the risk of choking.Therefore, it is necessary to adapt food to each person's ability to eat, preparing small soft foods or using thickeners to improve the consistency of meals. In addition, the person may see and hear worse on the side that has the alterations.
3. Difficulty speaking
Many people find it difficult to speak, having a very low tone of voice, not being able to say some words completely or even completely losing the ability to speak, which makes it difficult to interact with family and friends.
In these cases, if the person knows how to write, preference may be given to written communication. In addition, many people end up developing sign language to be able to communicate with those closest to them.
4. Visual changes
In some cases, stroke can also result in changes in vision, with the person having blurred vision, double vision and reduced visual field, which can make the person have difficulty recognizing objects, family members or to move freely in the environment, for example.In addition, in some cases there may be complete loss of vision.
5. Urinary and fecal incontinence
Urinary and stool incontinence is frequent, as the person may lose sensitivity to identify when they feel like going to the bathroom, and it is recommended to wear a diaper to be more comfortable.
6. Confusion and memory loss
Confusion after a stroke is also a relatively frequent sequel. This confusion includes behaviors such as having difficulty understanding simple commands or recognizing familiar objects, not knowing what they are for or how to use them.
In addition, depending on the region of the brain affected, some people may also suffer from memory loss, which ends up hindering the person's ability to orient themselves in time and space.
7. Depression and feelings of revolt
People who have had a stroke have a higher risk of developing severe depression, which can be caused by some hormonal change influenced by brain damage, but also by the difficulty in living with the limitations imposed by the stroke.
What recovery looks like after stroke
To reduce the limitations caused by stroke and recover some damage caused by the disease, it is essential to undergo treatment with a multidisciplinary team, even after hospital discharge. Some therapies that can be used are:
- Physiotherapy sessions with a specialized physical therapist to help the patient regain balance, shape and muscle tone, being able to walk, sit and lie down on his own again.
- Cognitive stimulation with occupational therapists and nurses who perform games and activities to reduce confusion and inappropriate behaviors;
- Speech therapy with speech therapists in order to regain the ability to express yourself.
Treatment should be started as soon as possible while still in the hospital and maintained in rehabilitation clinics or at home.
The length of stay in the hospital depends on the severity of the stroke, however, in most cases, it is at least one week in the hospital, and can be kept for another 1 month in a rehabilitation clinic. In addition, at home it is necessary to continue doing the treatment to reduce the long-term consequences.