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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Aphasia is when your ability to speak or understand words is decreased or absent. You may have problems reading, writing, putting thoughts into words, or understanding others. This may decrease your ability to communicate. With time, your daily activities and relationships may also be affected. Aphasia can be a short-term or a long-term problem. Causes of aphasia include diseases that cause brain damage, such as a stroke.
- Symptoms of aphasia include problems expressing yourself or understanding what others say. Tests may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, and speech-language tests. You may need speech-language therapy. Medicines or surgery may be needed to treat the initial brain injury. These treatments may also improve aphasia.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Living with aphasia:
Aphasia can be very frustrating to you and to your family. Following are some tips to help you and your family when communicating with one another:
- Avoid background noise and other distractions.
- Encourage all kinds of communication, such as speaking, writing, drawing, pointing, face expressions, hand gestures, and eye contact.
- Give the person time to talk.
- Speak slowly.
- Talk to the person as an adult.
- Use simple sentences.
- Understand that the person with aphasia may feel frustrated.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace:
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace that says you or a family member has aphasia. You may get one from your local drugstore or contact the MedicAlert Foundation listed below:
- MedicAlert Foundation
2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock , CA 95382
Phone: 1- 888 - 633-4298
Web Address: http://www.medicalert.org
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- Your communication problems are getting worse.
- You are depressed and the feelings do not go away.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have a very bad headache.
- You feel confused and have problems speaking or understanding things.
- You cannot see out of one or both of your eyes.
- You are too dizzy to stand or walk.
- You have weakness or numbness of your face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body.
- Your blood pressure is higher then what your caregiver has told you it should be.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.