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Nominal Dysphasia

By October 17, 2019Chronic Disease

The ability to speak, and to articulate one’s thoughts and feelings in a way that is effective and meaningful, is an amazing ability that we often take for granted. But for those who have dysphasia, a language disorder that is characterized by an inability to communicate or understand meaning using spoken language, the ability to understand and be understood is incredibly valuable. 

One type of dysphasia is called nominal dysphasia, also commonly referred to as anomic aphasia. Nominal dysphasia can be a challenging condition to live with, and making language progress can be frustrating. At United Energy Workers Healthcare, we are passionate about supporting those in our communities who are suffering from disabling and serious health conditions. Please review the following information about nominal dysphasia, and reach out to our team directly if you have questions about home healthcare services. 

What Is Nominal Dysphasia?

Nominal dysphasia is characterized by an inability to recall the names of people or objects that are correctly perceived. For example, if a person has nominal dysphasia, they may recognize a laptop, phone, and computer in front of them, as well as the person who’s sitting across from them, but will be unable to generate the name of any of these, despite knowing each object’s function and who the person is in relation to themselves (Hier and Shindler, 1987). In a nominal dysphasia case, other aspects of speech may be completely normal, although circumlocution (the use of many words where few will serve) may be present. The condition is often described as having the word “on the tip of one’s tongue,” yet unable to recall it. 

Note that the condition will not only affect a person and their ability to speak, but also their ability to write. This can be an extremely frustrating condition to be constantly living with, and one that can lead to other conditions and effects, such as depression and impaired relationships. It can also be disabling in certain contexts, as a person suffering from nominal dysphasia may be unable to perform the same work that they did prior to developing nominal dysphasia. 

What Causes Nominal Dysphasia?

Dysphasia is caused by a number of different medical conditions, including stroke, brain tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases. Nominal dysphasia appears to most often be the result of lesions (an area of damage as a result of disease, tumor, or wound) on the temporal lobe. It’s important that you work with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition if you suspect that you have nominal dysphasia. It’s also important that the cause of the dysphasia is identified, as this could be related to a large health concern. 

What Treatment Options Are Available?

One of the most frustrating things about living with nominal dysphasia is there is no quick fix for the condition – a person who is suffering from nominal dysphasia cannot simply have a surgery or take a medication to fix the problem. Instead, weeks, months, or years of therapy will be required to treat the condition. 

Those with dysphasia will usually turn to speech and language therapy as a treatment option; however, sometimes dysphasia will improve on its own without treatment (NHS, 2018). The brain is a very complex organ, and one that scientists do not yet have a full understanding of. As such, it can be difficult to know how a person’s condition will progress, whether or not it will improve without treatment, and how effective treatment will be. 

What Is Therapy Designed to Do? 

According to the NHS, cited above, speech and language therapy for someone who is suffering from nominal dysphasia is designed to help restore as much of a person’s speech and language abilities as possible, help them to communicate to the best of their abilities, help them to develop alternative ways of communicating, and help them and family members to understand the condition and how to best cope with it. 

Do I Qualify for Home Healthcare Services? 

Certain conditions are not just frustrating or painful, but also disabling. For those who are suffering from certain conditions and who are eligible for EEOICPA or RECA benefits, home healthcare services may be available at no cost. If you are suffering from a serious condition and are wondering whether or not you qualify for free, high-quality home healthcare services, reach out to United Energy Workers Healthcare directly. We are here to answer your questions about home healthcare services and provide you with more information about your options. 




Hier, D. B. and Schindler, A. G. (1987). Aphasia. In Topics in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/anomic-aphasia


NHS. (2018). Treatment – aphasia. Retrieved from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/aphasia/treatment/