STROKE- SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION
Stroke or a brain attack is a condition that occurs when there is inadequate blood supply to the brain. Due to decreased blood flow and lack of oxygen in the brain, the brain cells begin to die off eventually. Stroke can be classified into 2 main categories:
Due to blockage of blood flow: Ischemic stroke, which is due to the blockage of a blood vessel in the neck or brain, is the most frequent cause of a stroke. About 80% of the stroke cases are a result of blockage of the blood These blockages arise due to 3 conditions:
- Thrombosis, which is the formation of a clot within the blood vessel in the neck or brain.
- The movement of the clot from other parts of the body such as heart to neck or brain
- Stenosis, a severe narrowing of an artery in or leading to the brain.
Due to bleeding: Hemorrhagic stroke, which is the bleeding into the brain or spaces surrounding the brain causes the second type of stroke.
Symptoms of a stroke:
The following are certain signs and warning that you have high chances of getting a stroke.
- ¨ Sudden falls or brief unconsciousness
- ¨ Unexplained dizziness
- ¨ Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the arm, leg or face
- ¨ Abrupt loss of vision, strength, coordination. Speech and ability to understand speech. These symptoms become worse over time.
- ¨ Sudden dimness of vision, especially in one eye.
- ¨ Sudden loss of balance accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and difficulty in swallowing.
F.A.S.T test is usually taken to confirm if the patient is actually affected by stroke.
F means face- if one side of the face droops it’s a possible sign of stroke.
A means arm- if the person is not able to stretch out both arms then again it’s a possible sign of stroke.
S means speech- if the person is not able to understand simple sentences then again it’s a possible sign of stroke.
T means time- if any of the FAS signs are positive then its TIME. The T in FAST test also means the longer the brain is blocked from the blood supply, the greater is it’s damage caused. Usually, the patient affected by stroke should be treated within 3 hours.
What causes a stroke?
A condition called atherosclerosis may occur due to deposition of fats, cholesterol, calcium and other substances which narrow the blood vessel making it easy for the clots. This reduces the blood flow to the brain. As a result, the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen and nutrients. Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. This is called transient ischemic attack (TIA).
TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACK (TIA):
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) also called as mini stroke will have the similar symptoms of a stroke but for a brief duration only. TIA lasts for less than 5 minutes. TIA may also occur due to a clot or blockage that reduces the blood flow to part of the brain. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to detect if the patient is undergoing a TIA or a stroke.
RISK FACTORS OF STROKE:
Stroke may certainly lead a person to have a severe heart attack. The following are some of the risk factors:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Other associated risk factors include:
- People above 5 years of age
- Personal or family history of stroke
- Men have higher chances of being affected by stroke than women.
- African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than people of other race.
COMPLICATIONS OF STROKE:
The complications of stroke may be severe or mild depending on how long the brain lacked proper blood flow and also which part of the brain was affected. The complications may include:
- Paralysis or loss of muscle movement
- Difficulty in walking or swallowing
- Loss of memory and thinking abilities
- Difficulty in controlling their emotions
- Pain, numbness or strange sensations in parts of the body.
- Changes in behavior and self-care ability.
PREVENTION OF STROKE:
A stroke prevention is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle which helps to fight stroke every single day. In addition to preventing stroke, these actions will also help one to lead an energetic and peaceful life.
- A healthy eating habit will help live a long run. Trans fat is a type of fat that contributes to stroke and is easy to identify it’s presence in food.
- Even modest exercise has been proven to help prevent stroke.
- Choose physical exercises that are enjoyable for you.
- Make efforts to maintain a balanced weight. Obesity or underweight is a risk factor for
- Avoid smoking as that also increases the chances of stroke.
Apart from all this ensure you lead a happy life. One should be able to balance your emotions well that will have a greater impact on your psychological health.