A stroke is a medical emergency scary experience that no one wishes to live through or to see a loved one suffer through. It is defined as an acute loss of blood supply to the brain, causing damage to the brain within minutes. Strokes can have devastating effects when severe and or untreated. Luckily, they can be prevented and treated with just a bit of basic knowledge.
It is important to recognize the symptoms of a stroke so that you can seek medical attention immediately.
- Sudden numbness or paralysis in the limbs or face-particularly on only one side of the body
- Difficulty walking due to numbness in limbs, sudden loss of balance and coordination
- Sudden and severe headaches– along with dizziness and sudden vomiting
- Inability to form proper speech or comprehension– such as slurring or incoherent speech
- Sudden blindness or poor, blurred vision– in one or both eyes
Short Term and Long Term Implications of Stroke
Depending on the severity of the stroke as well as pre-existing risk factors and quality and rapidity of treatment, symptoms can vary in type and severity.
- Paralysis or loss of muscle mobility -in certain parts of the body
- Difficulty talking or swallowing -as certain muscles in the mouth and throat lose some of their function
- Chronic Pain– in certain affected parts of the body and other sensations such as tingling, cold etc.
- Cognitive and emotional issues and behavioural changes-The damage to the brain can sometimes cause difficulties in thinking clearly and rationally. It can also lead to depression and a reduced ability to control emotions.
Causes and Risk factors
Many conditions can lead to a stroke, as it can be a very complicated condition. However, here are some common risk factors for having a stroke:
- Genetics-Family history of stroke
- Age-There is a higher risk of 55
- Unhealthy Diet- especially one high in cholesterol and sugar
- High Blood Pressure
- Certain Chronic Medications- such as hormonal contraceptives
- Certain Illegal Drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, Sleep Apnea
While one is able to suspect a stroke from the symptoms listed above, a medical professional will conduct certain medical exams to confirm the presence of a stroke as well as the type and severity.
Physical Examination– including key questions about health, medications and family history and certain basic physical checks
Blood Tests –checking the levels of sugar, hormones in the blood as well as for certain infections and other irregularities
Various Scans-checking for irregular conditions and activity in the brain, heart and arteries
Emergency Treatment of Stroke
If you suspect you or anyone around you may be having a stroke, seek medical attention immediately. Strokes can be life-threatening and can so permanent damage. A medical emergency service like Doctors-on-Call, your house call docotor,may prevent this. Doctors-on-Call, your house call doctor, will arrive within minutes and be able to diagnose a possible stroke and provide the immediate treatment necessary as well as arrange for hospitalization needed. They will also guide family and loved ones through the process as strokes can be extremely stressful to the victim and to people around them.
Long-Term Treatment of Stroke
Depending on the severity as well as the type of stroke, treatment can vary greatly. Typical post-stroke treatment can include:
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Continuous monitoring of certain medical factors, including blood pressure
- Specialist care and therapies
Prevention is better than cure
The great news is that strokes can be prevented with vigilance and by taking constant care of your health and lifestyle. Now that you are aware of the basic symptoms of a stroke, you can be on the lookout and remember whatever you do: get help immediately!