Q:

Is it common to have dizzy spells after a stroke?

A:

Quick Answer

Some individuals experience dizziness and balance control issues following a stroke that affected the brain stem, states the American Heart Association. Individuals who suffer a stroke in other parts of the brain may also experience balance control issues, according to the National Stroke Association.

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Full Answer

When a stroke affects the brain stem, the vestibular system is often damaged. The vestibular system monitors head movements in relation to the pull of gravity. In conjunction with the somatosensory system, the human body uses information about head position, foot pressure and ankle position to balance the body. When the vestibular system is damaged during a brain stem stroke, the body may have difficulty balancing itself. Dizziness and spinning sensations can be resulting symptoms from this damage, explains the American Heart Association. Exercises and physical therapy can reduce these symptoms.

Even if a stroke did not damage the brain stem and vestibular system, survivors may experience a loss of balance due to weakness on one side of the body. If the brain is injured on one side, the leg, foot and torso on the opposite side of the body may be weaker. Due to this weakness, stroke survivors sometimes have difficulty keeping their balance while walking and moving around, notes the National Stroke Association.

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