Stroke Recovery: Understanding Aphasia

Learn more about treating aphasia while recovering from a stroke

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month and, as the FIRST hospital in Texas to participate in the American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines Stroke initiative, we recognize the importance of stroke education and treatment during recovery. Since aphasia is a communication disorder commonly caused by stroke, we would like to share its symptoms and treatment options here.

What Is Aphasia?
During a stroke, areas in the brain are deprived of oxygen, causing brain cell death. If the area affected is responsible for language, aphasia can occur. This condition causes:

  • Difficulty speaking clearly or correctly
  • Difficulty understanding language
  • Difficulty understanding fast speech
  • Switching sounds or words while talking
  • Difficulty finding the correct words
  • Problems reading, writing and using numbers

However, aphasia does NOT affect a person's level of intelligence.

How Is Aphasia Treated?
In many cases, there is no quick fix for this condition–if any at all. However, depending on the individual's condition, speech-language therapy can improve speech and language comprehension over time. Typically, therapy lasts at least 2 years, and success largely depends on the age and health of the individual, the extent of the damage and each individual's motivation to improve. Family members are encouraged to slow down their speech, give their loved one time to speak, and follow tips as suggested by the speech therapist and physician.

To learn more about aphasia, please visit our Health Library for further causes, symptoms, treatment suggestions and resources. The National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders offers great tips for family members here.

The Medical Center of Plano was the county's 1st to earn the Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission. We offer the latest lifesaving stroke treatments and clot-retrieval techniques available.

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