Aphasia is a neurological condition that can affect your speech, as well as your ability to write and understand both spoken and written language.
Aphasia typically occurs after a stroke or a head injury, but it can also have a gradual onset as the result of a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes degenerative damage. Sometimes temporary episodes of aphasia can occur. These can be due to migraines, seizures or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA occurs when blood flow is temporarily blocked to an area of the brain.
The severity of aphasia varies depending on the cause and the extent of the brain damage.
Some of the symptoms of aphasia include:
- Speaking in short or incomplete sentences
- Speaking in sentences that don’t make sense
- Substituting one word for another or one sound for another
- Using unrecognizable words
- Not understanding conversations
- Writing sentences that don’t make sense
Aphasia can create numerous quality-of-life problems because communication is so much a part of your life. Communication difficulty may affect your job, relationships, and general day-to-day functionality. Communication difficulties can also lead to feelings of shame and depression.
Once the cause has been addressed, the main treatment for aphasia is speech and language therapy. The person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate. Family members often participate in the process, helping the person communicate.
Because aphasia is often a sign of a serious problem, such as a stroke, seek emergency medical care if you suddenly develop any symptoms.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.