A stroke is a disease of the brain that occurs when an area of the brain is damaged due to a lack of blood supply or brain bleeding in a specific area. Strokes are defined as right side or left side depending on which hemisphere (side) of the brain is affected.
Since different regions of the brain control specific functions, the effects of a stroke correlate with the damaged area of the brain. A stroke on the right side can cause many symptoms. The most notable are those that affect the left side of the body, which is controlled by the right side of the brain.
This article will discuss the types of stroke on the right side, signs, effects, treatment and prevention.
Types of stroke in the right hemisphere
Any stroke, including a stroke on the right side, can occur because of a blood clot, bleeding, or both.
A ischemic stroke is caused by decreased blood flow to an area of the brain. Even a few minutes of insufficient blood flow can damage brain tissue.
An ischemic stroke can be caused by a blood clot in a large blood vessel or a small blood vessel. Usually, blocking blood flow in a small vessel causes less damage than blocking blood flow in a larger vessel.
Often strokes are caused by atherosclerosis of a cerebral artery. Atherosclerosis is a combination of damage to blood vessels and a buildup of material that can eventually lead to complete blockage of blood flow.
Sometimes strokes are caused by a blood clot that has traveled from the heart or carotid artery to the brain. This is more common with large ship hits.
A hemorrhagic a stroke occurs when a blood vessel enters the brain. The blood causes harmful irritation to brain tissue, and the bleeding also robs the area around the brain of adequate blood supply.
A stroke on the right side can happen suddenly and cause:
- Sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg
- Severe dizziness, problems with balance and difficulty walking
- Headache, especially from a hemorrhagic stroke
Sometimes a stroke can progress quickly and the symptoms can seem confusing and overwhelming. If you or someone else experiences any of these signs, see a doctor straight away.
The specific effects you experience from a stroke on the right side may become more evident to you as you become more medically stable in the days following the initial event. The effects can last for years, and sometimes the effects can improve over time.
A stroke on the right side causes immediate and lasting effects that are different from those of a stroke on the left side.
Hemiplegia on the left side
Hemiplegia is paralysis (complete loss of movement) on one side of the body. A stroke on the right side can cause hemiplegia all over the left side of the body.
Most often, this type of stroke causes hemiparesis, which is a diminished force, without total paralysis. It usually only affects the face, arm or leg, not necessarily the entire left side.
Sometimes months or years after the stroke, spasticity (muscle stiffness or stiffness) can develop in weak muscles. This happens when a stroke affects the right motor band of the cerebral cortex (which helps control movement) or the right inner capsule (nerve fibers in the motor band pass through this area).
Diminished sensation on the left side
After a stroke on the right side, it is possible to have decreased sensation or loss of sensation on the left side of the body. Occasionally paresthesias (numbness, tingling, or other unusual sensations) or pain may develop in areas of the body that have decreased sensation. It usually starts after weeks, months, or more.
Sensory disturbances on the left side of the body can occur due to a stroke in the right sensory band of the cerebral cortex or the right thalamus.
One of the rare effects of a stroke on the right side is prosopagnosia, which is an inability to recognize faces. It can happen due to a stroke affecting the right spindle-shaped gyrus, an area near the back of the brain that helps identify faces.
Neglect on the left
One of the distressing characteristics of a right-sided stroke is attention to the left side of the body or an inability to recognize the area of the body affected by the stroke. As with the other effects of a stroke on the right side, the severity of this problem can range from mild to severe.
Neglect can occur when a stroke affects the right parietal lobe (a back part of the brain).
The challenges of neglect
Neglect after stroke on the right side can make it especially difficult to participate in physical therapy and other aspects of rehabilitation.
A stroke on the right side can cause loss of vision on the left side of both eyes. It can affect the entire left side, or only the upper or lower part of the left side vision. This is called the homonymous left hemianopia.
A stroke affecting the right occipital lobe, which is the most remote region of the brain, can cause a homonymous left hemianopia.
This complex effect is a person’s inability to recognize that they have a disability following a stroke. It is similar to neglect, but there are subtle distinctions, as a person with anosognosia can recognize the impaired area of the body, but may be unable to recognize the impairment.
Anosognosia can occur due to damage to the right parietal, temporal, or frontal lobe of the brain.
This condition can occur due to a number of different neurological conditions, including a stroke on the right side. Symptoms of pseudobulbar affect include episodes of uncontrollable emotional outbursts, such as laughing or crying. They can be inappropriate because emotions arise at random times and don’t always make sense.
This can be embarrassing for some people who may be distressed by their own lack of emotional control. People who have had a very bad stroke may not notice the effects or may not be affected by it.
There are several treatments for a stroke. When symptoms first appear, treatment may include blood pressure control, fluid management, and sometimes blood thinners. These interventions can reduce the damage caused by a stroke and improve survival.
After the acute stage of a stroke on the right side, treatment involves rehabilitation. This can include physical therapy, speech and swallowing therapy, cognitive therapy, and occupational therapy to help maximize movement and self-care.
Preventing further strokes after a stroke is important. Diagnostic tests involve tests that assess risk factors for stroke. Prevention focuses on managing risk factors to reduce the risk of another stroke.
- Maintain optimal blood pressure
- Diet modification and medical treatment to achieve healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Diabetes control
- Anticoagulants for high risk of blood clots
- Treatment of heart problems, such as heart valve disease, coronary artery disease, and irregular heart rhythms
- Smoking cessation
Prevention involves consistent monitoring of risk factors and assessment of risk factor control.
A stroke can have many different effects, depending on which side of the brain is affected. Stroke on the right side can cause weakness on the left side, sensory loss on the left side, loss of vision on the left side of both eyes, personality changes, neglect on the left side of the body, and lack of recognition of the body. ‘Stroke.
The risk of having a stroke can be reduced if the risk factors are identified and managed. Often a stroke can be treated, but there may be some residual effects. The bigger a hit, the more substantial the effects. Rehabilitation after stroke is an important part of recovery.
A word from Verywell
It can be confusing to hear that you or a loved one has had a stroke on the right side of your brain, especially when you have symptoms on the left side of your body. Recovering from a stroke can be difficult. Knowing what to expect after a stroke on the right side can help you get the most out of your rehabilitation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a left stroke and a right stroke?
The difference is that a stroke on the right side affects the right side of the brain, while a stroke on the left side affects the left side of the brain. They can each cause weakness and decreased sensation on the opposite side of the body. A stroke on the right side can also lead to a lack of awareness on the weak side of the body, which can make rehabilitation more difficult.
How long does it take to recover from a stroke on the right side?
It depends on many factors. It may take longer to recover from a major stroke, especially if you have had other strokes before or if you have health problems, such as severe heart or lung disease.
What causes a right stroke?
This type of stroke can be caused by a blockage in blood flow or a bleeding blood vessel. Risk factors include high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and high cholesterol.