Here’s What Happens When You Have a Silent Stroke

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Silent strokes don’t cause any obvious symptoms, but over time, they may lead to permanent brain damage or a major stroke. Here’s what you need to know about how to prevent silent strokes.

It’s not that uncommon to have an MRI to check out one health problem, say recurrent headaches, and then find out you have another entirely different problem—evidence of a stroke you never knew you had.

Is it even possible to have a stroke and not know it? Yes, and not only is it possible, it  can have long-term consequences. They’re known as silent strokes.

A stroke occurs when the oxygen supply to part of the brain is cut off. The most common cause is a blockage, usually a blood clot, in a blood vessel that normally carries oxygen and nutrients to your brain. However, if a weakened blood vessel bursts, it can also disrupt blood flow and result in the death of brain cells and loss of function. Symptoms include face drooping, slurred speech and arm weakness, according to the American Stroke Association. Rapid treatment can help lower the risk of stroke-related brain damage, so stroke symptoms are a medical emergency.

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