If you or a loved one has aphasia, everyday life and activities are difficult. Humans rely on speech and communication for all aspects of life. Any interference with speech or communication is a huge hindrance. And, the person with the condition may not realize that they have a problem. Keep reading to learn more about aphasia, its causes, and its symptoms.
What Is Aphasia?
Aphasia is an umbrella term for conditions where a person develops the inability to understand or speak their usual language. The disorder has many different variations. Some variations affect the ability to understand speech and gestures. Other forms may only affect one form of communication. The condition can be sudden or come on gradually.
What Are Aphasia Symptoms?
Aphasia symptoms depend on which variation you or your loved one has. Generally, people with aphasia may exhibit some of the following behaviors:
Part of the problem is that many people with aphasia may not notice a problem until it gets severe enough to affect their lives.
Who Gets Aphasia?
In most cases, a change in brain functioning due to injury or disease is the cause of aphasia. Strokes are one common cause of aphasia. However, tumors and brain infections can trigger aphasia. People with transient ischemic attacks (TIA) and severe migraines may experience a temporary episode.
What Can Doctors Do About Aphasia?
After treating the cause, a person with aphasia may benefit from types of speech therapy. Which kind of therapy you or your loved one receives depends on their individual condition. Some people can recover much of their former communication skills over time. Others may struggle with speech for the rest of their lives.
What Can Caregivers Do About Aphasia?
Caregivers can work with doctors and speech therapists to help improve communication. Supplement and support the therapist's methods. Patience is key, as many people with aphasia may have difficulties formulating speech. Speaking simply or using other forms of communication, like drawings, may help if verbal speech or gestures are difficult.
Aphasia affects each sufferer differently. Some may have more ability to communicate than others. You or your loved one may have aphasia that seems to come and go. You can also work with specialists to improve brain function and communicate better. The important thing is to work with your brain specialist or neurologist to find and treat the cause.
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