A stroke happens when something, like a blood clot, interrupts blood flow to the brain, depriving the essential organ of vital oxygen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that strokes affect nearly 800,000 individuals every single year.
While many stroke victims recover well enough to work, others experience long-term problems that make them eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Here are some common long-term health consequences that often accompany a stroke.
Speech and language difficulties
A stroke may cause a person to experience paralysis, making pronouncing words difficult. Even worse, damage to the brain may interfere with a stroke survivor’s ability to recall words, identify objects or form sentences.
Because the brain controls bodily movements, a stroke can interfere with a person’s ability to walk, stand or otherwise move. Often, mobility challenges affect one side of the body and not the other. While mobility limitations may improve with physical therapy in the first few weeks after a stroke, paralysis is sometimes permanent.
If a stroke affects the part of the brain that controls emotions, a survivor may experience a temperament change. That is, he or she may seem like a different person to family members and close friends. Similarly, after suffering a stroke, an individual may struggle to pick up social cues or participate in everyday society.
Because a stroke may leave a person with emotional complications, mobility challenges and speech difficulties, individuals should treat it as a medical emergency. With immediate medical care, it may be possible to minimize the potential long-term complications that tend to accompany a stroke.