Hundreds of thousands of Americans are affected by stroke each year. While each stroke affects people differently, one notable after effect is aphasia, a neurological disorder that affects communication. This disorder affects the areas in the brain that control and affect skills like speech, listening, reading, writing, and other related abilities.
Stroke is a major contributor to aphasia, although any disease or complication that damages the left half of the brain can cause the disorder. Here’s some insight into what it’s like to live with aphasia.
The Complications of Living with Aphasia
Roughly one million people in the U.S. suffer from some degree of aphasia, although not every case is the same. The disorder can vary widely in terms of severity, with affects ranging from difficulty naming names to a loss of nearly all language functions. Some problems caused by aphasia include:
- Difficulty with pronunciation
- Substitution of words while speaking
- Issues stringing full sentences together
- Trouble understanding what other people say
- Difficulty hearing with background noise
- Trouble understanding written material
- Regular spelling and sentence structure issues
- Difficulty with counting, telling time, or other number concepts
Losing the ability to easily communicate with someone can be a difficult experience for those suffering from aphasia. While aphasia may make understanding communication difficult, the disorder doesn’t affect a person’s intelligence. Instead, it just muddles the information given and received in conversation.
Living With Someone Affected by Aphasia
People with aphasia aren’t the only ones who are affected by the disorder. Aphasia impacts the friends, families, and professionals as well. Here are some practices you can follow to help people with aphasia:
- Speak calmly and clearly at a normal volume
- Maintain a normal rate of speech
- Keep conversation simple without talking down to the individual
- Get the individual’s attention and maintain eye contact
- Eliminate distracting background noise
- Encourage the individual to communicate back with speech, writing, or whatever is necessary
Treatment for Aphasia
Different treatments can depend on the level of aphasia. One major treatment method is language therapy, which can help people with aphasia to regain the communication skills affected by the disorder.
Make sure to talk to an internal medicine physician if you or some your know may be affected by aphasia. Give us a call at 888-428-8895 or contact us online today to set up an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss aphasia and any other health concerns you may have.
Dr. Laura Davis Luarde, D.O.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.