Sufferers of so-called 'whispering stroke' need to take their symptoms seriously and so do their doctors, experts have urged on the back of a new report.
Silent or whispering strokes are a much milder form of normal strokes. Symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg and dizziness or loss of balance and coordination.
In a survey of more than 21,000 people, those reporting stroke-like symptoms had functional impairment similar to that of people who had a history of mini-stroke.
Dr George Howard from the University of Alabama, one of the study's authors, said: "Many clinicians argue that there is no need to do an extensive workup for vague symptoms, but these vague symptoms substantially lower a person's quality of life and cause cognitive impairment and possibly other harmful effects that potentially indicate a silent stroke."
The study appears in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.