Table of Contents:
- How Does A Stroke Occur?
- What Are the Symptoms of Stroke?
- What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms of a Stroke?
- Are Strokes Preventable?
The first phase in stroke prevention is to acknowledge the risk factors and symptoms of a stroke.
When flow of blood to a part of the brain is interrupted, a stroke, also known as a “brain attack," would occur. The brain cells die as they are deprived of the oxygen and glucose that are compulsory for their survival. Permanent brain damage and death may occur if not detected early.
How Does a Stroke Occur?
There are two types of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke is comparable to a heart attack, but instead it happens in the brain’s blood vessels. Clots can develop in the brain’s blood vessels, blood vessels that lead to the brain, or blood vessels that connect to the brain from other parts of the body. Blood supply to the brain’s cells would be blocked by these clots. When excessive plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) clogs the brain’s blood vessels, an ischemic stroke could potentially occur. Ischemic strokes account for approximately 80% of all strokes.
- Hemorrhagic strokes (heh-more-raj-ik) arise as a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or breaks. As a consequence, blood trickles into the brain tissue, resulting in brain cell damage. High blood pressure and brain aneurysms are the two most frequent factors of hemorrhagic stroke. An aneurysm is a weakening or thinned blood vessel wall.
What Are the Symptoms of Stroke?
The following are the most common stroke symptoms:
- Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body.
- Either with one or both eyes, there is a loss of vision or dimming (as though a curtain is falling).
- Speech loss, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding what others are saying.
- An unknown and sudden severe headache.
- Loss in balance or unstable walking, which is often accompanied by another symptom.
What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms of a Stroke?
When you or someone you know is experiencing signs of a stroke, dial 911 straight away. Stroke is a medical emergency. Receiving treatment as soon as possible may save your life or optimise your odds of a full recovery.
To identify symptoms of stroke, the American Heart Association utilizes the F.A.S.T. memory tool:
- Facial drooping
- Arm weakness
- Slurring of speech
- Time to call 911
Are Strokes Preventable?
Approximately half of all strokes are fortunately preventable. Many risk factors may be managed before they impact negatively.
Risk factors that can be controlled include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Unmanageable diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Being overweight
- Existing carotid and/or coronary artery disease
Risk factors that could not be controlled include the following:
- Age (People over age 65)
- Gender (Men have more strokes, women have more malignant strokes)
- Race (African-Americans are at greater susceptibility)
- Family history of stroke
Your doctor may assess your stroke vulnerability and assist you with managing your risk factors.
Before a stroke occurs, people may encounter warning signs. Brief episodes of the stroke symptoms mentioned above are known as transient ischemic attacks (also known as TIA or “mini-stroke"). A TIA occurs when a clot causes a temporary blockage. They may not cause irreversible brain damage, but they do place you at a greater risk of having another stroke.
Some people display no warning signs before a stroke, or their symptoms are so subtle that they go unnoticed. Regular check-ups are crucial for detecting issues before they aggravate. All signs or risk factors should be reported to the doctor.