It has been found out that after cancer, stroke is the next most common cause of death, with cardiovascular diseases following at a close third. And according to several researches, even if an individual survives a stroke, he/she has a 45% chance of becomingly permanently impaired by the attack.
Effect of Strokes on the Brain
In general, strokes are known to cause both temporary and permanent damage to the brain cells, which usually occur due to the lack of oxygen to the latter during a stroke. This is why it has been termed that strokes can cause the maximum damage to the human body than any other disease.
A stroke tends to shut down the brain temporarily and it normally takes some time for the latter to function properly again. As a result, individuals tend to find it difficult to walk, talk or even see properly after suffering from a stroke. The extent of the ensuing disability damage after a stroke largely depends on the specific area of the brain that is hit.
Reasons for the Occurrence of Strokes
Most strokes are ischaemic and occur due to a blockage in the artery that supplies blood to the brain. Some strokes are haemorrhagic and occur when there is excessive bleeding inside the brain or the region between the brain and the skull. And then again, some strokes occur due to indefinable reasons and so cannot be categorized properly.
Factors that Contribute to Strokes
Most of the reasons for strokes are common to many individuals who suffer from the issue. These include high blood pressure (can cause the formation of blood clots or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain), high cholesterol (can cause the formation of blood clots in the brain), diabetes, heart diseases (especially arterial fibrillation that can cause the formation of blood clots), obesity and smoking etc.
Recognizing a Stroke
How do you know that you are about to be hit by a stroke? There are certain symptoms that can help you diagnose the issue yourself. However, the problem lies in correlating these symptoms fast enough to interpret the condition and call out for help as soon as you can.
Some of the more common symptoms of strokes that start following each other in rapid succession include sudden weakness on one or both sides of the body, dizziness, vision problems, slurred speech, inability to think properly, or severe headaches etc.
Immediate Course of Action Following a Stroke
As and when an individual suffers from a stroke, it is best considered to rush him/her to a hospital, preferably one that has CT or MRI scanning facilities.
Quick action could help provide a proper diagnosis and an effective course of action; both of which could save a life or prevent irreversible damages to the brain.
Other Factors to be Aware of
In several cases, it has been found out that people tend to ignore the tell tale signs of a stroke as and when they start occurring. These signs usually appear in the form of mini strokes that last for less than 24 hours and are commonly misdiagnosed as other minor ailments.
Also called as stroke warnings or Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA), mini strokes cause the same symptoms as a regular stroke in individuals. However, these signs do not last long and do not cause any disability as well. But it is considered extremely essential to check with a doctor after suffering from a mini stroke as well. For no matter how small the stroke may be, the chances of it causing internal brain damage are very high.
Ways to Treat strokes
Quick diagnosis and treatment can be a life saver in the case of strokes. And in addition to the standard medications prescribed for the issue, individuals who suffer from strokes are asked to keep a check on other factors like blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol levels etc.
Individuals who get strokes are also prescribed medications that act as blood thinners and prevent the formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins. These include aspirin, Coumadin (for mini strokes), clopidogrel and a mixture of aspirin and dipyridamole etc.