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Four Unexpected Stroke Side Effects

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

After a stroke, patients may experience a wide range of symptoms depending upon the area of the brain in which the stroke occurred and how long the area was deprived of oxygen. While certain side effects of a stroke are common, such as one-sided weakness of the body or problems with vision, others can be surprising.

As a leading provider of in-home stroke care in Sonoma County, we wanted to share some of the less common-after effects of a stroke. Knowing about these symptoms can be reassuring to stroke survivors and their families who can then seek the appropriate treatment.

  1. Hallucinations – Auditory and visual hallucinations can happen during the post-stroke recovery period, and they are more likely to occur when there has been damage to a patient’s midbrain. Sometimes, these hallucinations only last a few weeks as the brain heals; however, those who suffer from extreme hallucinations or delusions may benefit from a prescribed medication.
  1. Changes in the Sense of Taste – Stroke patients may experience a loss of taste or distorted taste sensations. For some patients, this can also include a burning feeling in the mouth or a constant salty taste. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping the mouth hydrated can help to ease this side effect.
  1. Smell Disorders – When a stroke occurs in the area of the brain that controls the sense of smell, patients can experience several different disorders. These include a loss or decline in the sense of smell and oversensitivity to certain scents. While there are few treatments available for these disorders, a patient’s doctor can conduct tests to make sure it is not related to a medication side effect. Also, many patients find that their sense of smell returns in time.
  1. Personality Changes – Inappropriate laughter, emotional outbursts and extreme disinterest in once-enjoyed activities can all be normal side effects of a stroke. While some of these may be reactions to a new and challenging health diagnosis, others could signify damage to the patient’s brain or problems adjusting to a new medication. Any unusual behavior should be discussed with the patient’s medical team, and caregivers can play a supportive role by reminding the patient that these are normal changes that can improve with time.

If your parent or loved one requires extra assistance at home as they recover from a stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today. We offer hourly care in Sonoma County for help with daily activities, personal care and transportation and also provide overnight and 24/7 care for stroke survivors who may need additional monitoring and assistance.

To request more information, call a friendly Care Manager at 707-843-4368. We are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and also offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations for those who would like to learn more about our specialty stroke care services.