What is a stroke and what are most common sighs od stoke? It is a medical condition when the supply of blood is severely reduced or interrupted and in the process the brain tissue is deprived of nutrients and oxygen. Within a fraction of a second, the brain cells begin to die.
It is a medical emergency and prompt treatment is the need of the hour. If earlier remedial action is provided, it can reduce the potential complications along with brain damage. Though the good news is that stroke can be cured and treated and very few people are dying of stroke when you compare it to the last few years.
Symptoms and Signs of Stroke
You need to have an eye on the following symptoms and signs if someone is showing signs of a stroke. The length of the time is an important indicator of the treatment outcomes to be considered
- You may witness difficulty in breathing and speaking – there may be confusion as you might slur your words and find it very difficult to understand speeches
- Vision problems – Suddenly you may notice a partial or blurred loss of vision in both of your eyes.
- Walking problems – You may witness a sudden loss of balance or experience sudden dizziness
- Numbness or paralysis of the face, leg or arm – you may face a sudden numbness, paralysis in your face or arm and this is on a particular side of the body. If one side of the arm begins to fall, then the chances are that you might have had a stroke.
When to seek help from a doctor
“Think quickly and act fast” if you witness any of the following symptoms, even if they disappear or fluctuate after a certain point of time.
- Speech – You can ask the person to utter a simple phrase and see whether there is a slur
- Arms – You can ask the person to lift both the arms and if one of them is tilting downward ,then the chances of a stroke are high
- Face – when you ask a person to smile does one side of the face droop
If any of the above signs are evident, then do not hesitate and go on to seek medical help at the earliest. Do not leave it unattended as every minute counts and the longer you delay, the greater chances of it have drastic propositions. In case you are with someone who is a victim of a stroke observe him closely till medical assistance arrives.
Coping with a stroke has an impact on your emotional well being and physical quotient. You are bound to experience feelings of depression, empathy, etc. You are bound to witness mood fluctuations and changes in your sex drive. The key is not to be hard on yourself and understand that any recovery will take a decent amount of time. You can join a support group of people who might have had a stroke as their earlier experiences would be handy.
The biggest challenge of a stroke is that it can have an impact on your speech and listening skills. You can practice and try to have a conversation every day. This will help you to stay connected , rebuild your confidence and in due course of time you will understand what works for you. Relax and do not rush as this might be a relaxing situation where you can have a lot of time for yourself. When you are about to recover from a stroke, you need to say fewer words and rely more on gestures.
Many factors are associated which increases the risk of a stroke and it has got a lot to do with the lifestyle that we are part of. Being obese and a regular drinker has a higher chance of a stroke. In medical risk factors if you smoke a lot and have a high blood pressure then better be careful. The old age and family problems too have a share in this regard.
Complications arise due to strokes
The sad part is that sometimes strokes can pave way for temporary and permanent disabilities. It all depends on how long the brain lacks the flow of blood and which area has been affected. Some of the complications are
- Loss of muscle movement – also referred to paralysis your movement on one side of the body is restricted. In this regard physical therapy may help you to return to normal activities.
- Memory loss – some people who have been victims of stroke experience a sudden memory loss. In case of others it may be difficult to understand or reasoning concepts.
- Difficulty in talking or swallowing – when you have a stroke there is less control in the manner of the muscles in your throat and mouth. A situation arises where you may find it difficult to talk or eat as well.
- Emotional problem – People who have been a victim of stroke tend to encounter emotional problems and in due course the possibility of depression cannot be ruled out as well.
How to prevent strokes
Understanding the risk factors associated with stroke, incorporating a healthy lifestyle and following the instructions of a doctor are some of the handy measures that you can adopt to prevent stroke. If you have had a stroke the chances of having another one will gradually decrease and some of the preventive measures that you can adopt are as follows
- Hypertension (controlling high blood pressure) – one of the effective mechanisms to reduce the chances of stroke is to keep your blood pressure under control. Managing stress, exercising, reducing the intake of alcohol and sodium will help you keep the blood pressure in check
- A healthy weight – if you are overweight, it increases the chances of a stroke all the more. You need to undertake a weight loss program and a loss of as little as ten pounds can improve your cholesterol levels and reduce weight
- Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables – a daily serving of fruits and vegetables of more than five times reduces the chances of a stroke significantly. Adopt a Mediterranean type of diet where the focus is more on fruits, nuts, grains along with vegetables.