A guide to its symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention.
Stroke is a medical condition when the blood stops flowing into the brain, preventing the brain tissues from receiving oxygen. As a result, the number of neuron cells in the brain starts to die in minutes. It is a medical emergency, which needs immediate action to prevent damage and complications.
There are two types of stroke - ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke is the one in which a blood vessel is occluded, which prevents blood flow. When the blood vessel inside the brain breaks leading to decreased blood flow, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
There are many causes of stroke. Some of the lifestyle-related ones are obesity, physical inactivity, being alcoholic, cigarette smoking or secondhand smoke exposure and use of illegal drugs.
Medical-related risk factors that contribute to stroke are diabetes, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even having a family history of strokes.
If you feel that someone near you might have a stroke, pay particular notice at the time that it happens. It can help healthcare workers in giving you the best possible treatment. There is an easy way to identify a stroke, a very useful acronym - B.E.F.A.S.T.
How is a stroke treated and what are its complications?
In the Emergency Department, the doctor will give you a clot-dissolving medication called TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) within 3 hours of having a stroke. In some cases, TPA is given within 4.5 hours of a stroke. It is a powerful drug that may cause some bleeding as a side effect. Medicines, which are known as antiplatelet medicines such as aspirin or dipyridamole, help by thinning out the blood and keeping the blood clots from getting big.
A surgical way to remove blood clots caused by Ischemic stroke is that the doctor will put a stent up into your artery to grab the clot or pull it out using a suction tube.
Hemorrhagic stroke is caused mostly by high blood pressure, so controlling your blood pressure through medication will be sufficient enough. An aneurysm can also be a reason for a hemorrhagic stroke. The doctor will close the broken blood vessels through a metal clip and thread through a tiny coil for blood flow. This will also help keep the blood vessels from breaking, again. Another reason for a hemorrhagic stroke is tangled blood vessels. Some people are born with tangled blood vessels. It can be surgically removed or treated with radiation to shrink them up or use special medication to stop the flow of blood in them.
Stroke can cause some temporary or permanent, depending on how long the brain lacks oxygen flow or which part of the brain was affected. Some of the most common ones are:-
If someone has had a stroke, doctors may advise them to follow a better healthy lifestyle. Some of these ways are:-
A stroke is also associated with many myths, such as that it only happens to old people or that it happens in the heart. This happens mainly due to the lack of awareness about strokes. This lack of awareness is also the cause and effect of many people losing their lives to stroke.
The International Stroke Day theme of “minutes can save a life” focuses on the fact that everyone should be able to learn to identify the signs of a stroke and save precious minutes, because with each passing minute the neurons in their brain are dying, fading parts of their memories and abilities with each passing time.