Stroke | Complications


What are some of the effects of a stroke?

The following are the most common effects of stroke:

  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Problems with speech and language
  • Poor balance or clumsy movement
  • Ignoring or being unaware of one side of the body
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Problems with bladder or bowel control
  • Problems with memory, thinking, or problem solving
  • Poor vision and/or changes in vision
  • Numbness

Is it normal to have emotional changes after a stroke?

Brain injury and loss of function from a stroke can lead to emotional changes. Soon after the stroke, you may have trouble controlling your emotions. Your moods may change more quickly than they did before the stroke. For example, you may suddenly start crying or laughing for no reason. Usually this gets better over time.

It is understandable if you feel depressed, sad, or frustrated as you get used to the changes caused by a stroke. These reactions are common after a stroke, and they can be treated. It is important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling so that he or she can help.

What about driving a car again after a stroke?

You should not make the decision on your own to start driving after a stroke. Your doctor can advise you if it is safe for you to drive again. Having a stroke can affect your mobility, vision, and thinking. Your reaction time may be slower. These changes can make driving a car unsafe for you and for other people on the road.

If your doctor says that it is safe for you to drive again, contact your state’s department of motor vehicles. Ask about the rules for people who have had a stroke. You may have to take a driving test or a class. Driver training programs are often available through rehabilitation centers.

It can be challenging if you can't drive after having a stroke. Other options for getting around include public transportation, specialized vans, taxis, and rides from friends and family members. Community resources such as senior citizen groups and local volunteer agencies may also be able to help.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/15
Created: 09/00