How You Can Prevent Stroke
November 11, 2021
What Happens When You Are Having a Stroke
November 11, 2021

Physical Effects of Stroke

Damage to the brain can affect your senses, mobility, behaviour, emotions, and cognitive thinking. You may notice some of these effects at the time of having a stroke or afterwards. Some physical effects only last for a short time period, but others can be long-lasting or even permanent.

Physical effects differ from person to person

It is completely normal that your experience of stroke is different to someone else’s experience. Some people recover completely from a stroke, whilst others face more serious problems.

The effects of your stroke depend on

The following factors impact the physical effects of stroke:

  • Which part of the brain has been damaged
  • The extent and seriousness of the damage to your brain
  • The size of the part of the brain that is injured
  • Your health, age and personality before you had the stroke

Paralysis or weakness

Paralysis or weakness of one side of the body is one of the most common effects of having a stroke. The weakness of one side of the body usually occurs on the opposite side where there was brain damage. For example, when a stroke occurs on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body is affected. Sometimes people may notice symptoms on both sides.

Muscle tone

Feelings of weakness is usually accompanied by a change in the ‘tone’ of your muscles. After having a stroke your muscles may become too active, causing them to feel stiff and painful. This stiffness is also called spasticity. Spasticity can affect your movement and speech abilities.


Tiredness is a common symptom after having a stroke. You will find that it takes more energy to do things, whilst a lack of exercise, change in eating habits, sleeping difficulty and depression can all make you feel more tired.

Eyesight problems

Eyesight problems are fairly common after a stroke. Some people lose part of their eyesight in one or both eyes, whilst other see double.

Swallowing difficulty (Dysphagia)

Swallowing difficulties are very common after a stroke. It happens because the nerves and muscles that control swallowing are no longer working as well as they used to. It is best to eat softer foods until your swallowing improves.

Problems communicating (Aphasia)

Aphasia is a communication problem that affects your ability to use and understand language. It results from damage to the language areas in your brain. If you have Aphasia you may find it difficult to talk, read, write and understand others when they speak.


Dysarthria is a speech problem where the muscles used for speaking become weak, stiff or uncoordinated. This can affect your pronunciation and cause your speech slur, making it difficult for other people to understand you.


Incontinence is the loss of control of the bladder or bowel. Having a stroke may damage the part of the brain that controls your bladder and bowel. If you have difficulty walking or moving around, or you need help getting to the toilet, you may not be able to get there in time.

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