What are the long-term effects of a stroke?

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While some strokes are relatively minor and may have no long-term impact if properly treated in a timely fashion, other strokes can be much more serious with the potential to cause lifelong effects.

Physical effects of a stroke

It is common for people to have some issues with movement after a stroke. This is because the damage caused to your brain by a stroke can affect the way your brain sends signals to your muscles. The impact can range from muscle stiffness or weakness to complete loss of control over some of your muscles.

Other common physical problems can include issues with swallowing, incontinence and vision, as well as persistent pain and headaches.

In many cases, these effects will be partially or wholly temporary, with patients typically seeing significant improvement over the first few months after a stroke, especially if the right rehabilitation therapy is available. However, some degree of physical disability may be lasting – to what extent this is true will largely depend on the severity of the stroke and how quickly the right treatment was provided.

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Communication difficulties following a stroke

Roughly a third of stroke survivors experience difficulties with communication, including speaking, understanding what is said to them, reading and writing. This is because many different parts of our brain need to work together during communication, so damage to any part of the brain following a stroke can disrupt the communication process.

Communication issues linked to stroke include:

  • Aphasia – where people lose the ability to understand or use language
  • Dysarthria– where people cannot control the muscles of their face, mouth and throat, making speech difficult
  • Apraxia of speech – where people cannot move the muscles in their face, mouth or throat correctly for clear speech

Tiredness and fatigue after a stroke

Post-stroke fatigue is the name for the extreme tiredness many people feel following a stroke. This type of tiredness often does not improve with rest and may be unrelated to how busy or active the stroke survivor has been. This means it can be hard to predict and likely to cause frustration, both in the person experiencing it and those around them who can find post-stroke fatigue hard to understand or empathise with.

Post-stroke fatigue does normally get better overtime, but this can takes months and there is no specific treatment, so it is important to be careful to manage the condition, including taking regular rests, avoiding over-exertion and ensuring your friends, loved ones, co-workers and anyone else likely to be impacted knows what to expect.

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Get the support you need for life after a stroke

If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke and were not given the correct treatment quickly enough due to negligence on the part of the medical team handling your care, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

This can help to fund the cost of dealing with the impact of your stroke, including paying for treatment and on-going care support, paying for specialist equipment and making up for lost income. All of these things can be vital to ensuring you have the best possible quality of life and can live independently.

IBB Claims Solicitors specialise in medical negligence compensation claims for a variety of situations, including misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of stroke. Having access this to this kind of specialist legal expertise can significantly increase your chances of a successful claim, helping to ensure you have the support you need long-term.

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