In May of this year, youtuber Felipe Noronha, 32, suffered a Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA). The case drew attention not only because of Noronha’s age, but also because he did not present some of the most well-known symptoms, such as sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, sudden loss of vision and slurred speech.
Silent stroke can manifest in young people with a very active lifestyle, as is the case in Noronha. This reinforces the need to pay attention to the most discreet symptoms and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Below we explain what a stroke is and how to identify the first symptoms.
What is a Stroke?
Cerebral Vascular Accident, popularly known as a stroke, is an interruption in the blood flow to the brain. It happens when a blood vessel ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke) or there is some type of obstruction in the vessels, either by clots or fatty plaques (ischemic stroke).
In both cases, it is possible to treat the problem as long as the patient notices the first symptoms and seeks help as soon as possible. If ignored, the person may have several sequelae, since the brain can be compromised. They range from permanent speech impairment, inability to recognize objects and people (even if vision is not affected), loss of sensation and the inability to perform some movements.
In addition, stroke is the second leading cause of death in Brazil. Every year, about 100,000 people die from a stroke — roughly 1 death every 5 minutes, according to the Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. This reinforces the importance of paying attention to all symptoms.
It is also important to note that stroke is more common in people over 65 years of age, but the number of occurrences in young people has increased every year. Between 10% and 15% of strokes occur in people aged 18 to 50 years. Young people, even if they don’t have health problems, can have a stroke; thus, snoring, alcohol abuse, smoking, heart disease and diabetes can be indicators.
The main symptoms of silent stroke
Noronha said he sought help when he presented intense sweating while he was resting, lack of appetite, voice failure and body numbness. Headache, dizziness and general malaise can also be indicative. In some cases, patients may experience mild memory loss and sudden changes in mood or personality.
If you notice that you have more than one of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help. If the diagnosis is made quickly, the treatment will be more successful, and the greater the chances of complete recovery.