Stroke Signs, Prevention & Awareness
When the blood supply to the brain is disrupted and decreased, then brain stroke occurs. When the blood supply to some part of your brain is interrupted, then someone experiences a stroke. This occurs primarily when clots or other obstructions block the flow of blood to the brain
Types of Strokes:
- Ischemic Stroke – This is the commonest type of brain stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery, leading to ischemic changes in the brain. Around 85% of stroke cases are ischemic strokes.
- Haemorrhagic – During haemorrhagic strokes, an artery ruptures (bursts) and blood leaks into the brain parenchyma. In the brain where the bleeding occurred, the extra blood causes increase in volume and pressure inside the brain causes damage to the brain tissue. The number of hemorrhagic strokes is less, but their damage is more severe.
- Transient ischemic attack – There is a temporary interruption in blood flow to the brain during a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), commonly known as a “mini-stroke.” The symptoms usually last 24 hours or less. The condition is diagnosed as a stroke if the symptoms persist for over 24 hours.
Signs & Symptoms:
FAST: If there is facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, it’s time to call for an ambulance immediately as these are the warning signs of a stroke. Strokes are unexpected and have very serious consequences. If you experience a stroke, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately so blood flow to the brain can be restored.
Other symptoms include:
- An arm, leg, or side of the face suddenly becomes numb, paralyzed, or weakened · Unusual or slurred speech
- An intense headache
- Vision problems
- Loss of memory
- Age – Every age group is at risk for stroke, but stroke risk doubles for every decade between 55 and 85. Children & adolescents can also suffer from strokes, but the number is very less. Brain stroke usually happens in old age
- Gender – It is well documented that the incidence of stroke is higher in men than in women in all age groups. Women on average, several years older than men suffer their first stroke.
- Family history of stroke – Some families seem predisposed to strokes. This may be because of several factors. It is possible for a family member to have a genetic tendency towards stroke because risk factors, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes run in the families.
Treatable risk factors:
- Heart ailments
- Physical inactivity
- Quit smoking – Smoking bears a significant risk in brain stroke. Smoking speeds up clot formation. Thickened blood and plaque build-up in the arteries as a result stroke risk increases. You can reduce your stroke risk significantly by quitting smoking, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Keep BP & cholesterol in check- Get regular check-ups done for cholesterol & blood pressure. Follow proper diet & advice by your doctor to stay safe from strokes.
- Exercise – Weight loss and blood pressure control are aided by exercise. Hence, maintain a moderate exercise schedule five days a week. You can start by taking a walk around your neighbourhood every morning after breakfast and keep taking the stairs instead of an elevator when you can.
- Drink in moderation – If you consume alcohol, do it in moderation or quit. Alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, thus putting you at the risk of stroke.
- Lose weight- You are more likely to have a stroke if you are obese and have associated complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes. You can decimate your stroke risk with just 10 pounds lost if you’re overweight. It is recommended that you have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less, but that may not be realistic for you. Work with your doctor to develop a customized weight loss plan & work towards achieving your ideal weight.
OMNI Hospitals have an experienced, highly qualified team of neurologists and neurosurgeons who can handle any kind of emergency related to brain stroke. Regarding brain surgery, our doctors can perform any complex operations related to brain stroke. With round-the-clock support, the department of neurosurgery performs various surgeries such as disc replacements, skull base surgeries and complex spine surgeries, along with stroke surgery. As part of OMNI’s neurosurgery service, there is a dedicated ‘Critical Care Unit’ equipped with ventilators, ICP monitors, operating microscopes, and neuroscopes. To know more, call 8880 101 000