Every year, world stroke day is observed on October 29th. It is to raise awareness on it and reduce the risk of stroke in people around the world. According to researchers, 3 Indians suffer a stroke every minute.
The stroke affects the blood vessels of the brain. However, stroke can be prevented and treated successfully. Let us look into various aspects of the stroke on this world stroke day.
What is a Stroke?
A Stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain breaks and bleeds, or when there’s a blockage in the blood circulation to the brain. The burst or blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching brain tissue.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the fifth-main reason for death in the US. Consistently, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke every year. Without oxygen, tissue, and cells in the brain are damaged and die in no time. Let us look into symptoms, types, causes, risk factors of stroke, and how to prevent it through this blog.
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The tissues in the brain are damaged due to loss of blood supply. Early recognition and timely intervention can go a long way in stroke prevention and recovery. It is therefore very important to recognize stroke symptoms early. Symptoms of a stroke can include:
- Trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Slurring speech
- Weakness or numbness in the leg, arm, or face, especially on one side of the body
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Double vision or other vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blurred or blackened
- Trouble walking
- Sudden, severe headache with an unidentified cause
Immediate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and timely interventions can go a long way in preventing
- Brain damage
- Long-term disability
When dealing with a stroke, It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Types of Stroke:
There are two main categories of strokes, hemorrhagic strokes, and ischemic strokes. Treatment and recovery process depends upon the type of stroke, the extent of damage, location of the stroke, and treatment offered.
What causes a Stroke?
Each type of stroke has different causes. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage in blood vessels supplying the brain. This could be due to atherosclerosis which causes narrowing of the blood vessels. This could also happen due to cardioembolic causes in which blood clots from the heart get lodged in blood vessels of the brain.
A leaking or burst blood vessel is the cause of hemorrhagic stroke. Blood seeps into or around the tissues of the brain, causing pressure and damaging brain cells. This can be due to hypertension, aneurysms, or malformations of blood vessels, or trauma.
Risk factors for Stroke:
Certain risk factors make you more vulnerable to stroke. Risk factors for stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus
- A previous stroke or TIA
- Irregular heartbeats
- Enlarged heart chambers
- Heart disorders, such as coronary artery disease
- Heart valve defects
- Sickle cell disease
An unhealthy diet with high salt, saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol makes you vulnerable to stroke.
Lack of exercise increases your risk of stroke. Adults should get at least 2.5 hours of exercise every week.
Smoking and Tobacco consumption:
As tobacco use can affect your heart and blood vessels, tobacco use in any form will increase your risk for stroke.
There are certain uncontrollable personal risk factors for stroke, which can be linked to your family history, sex, age, race, and ethnicity. It is better to talk to a doctor to find out your risk factors for stroke and ways to reduce risk.
How to prevent a Stroke ?
Leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent you from having a stroke. There are certain measures for it.
- Quit smoking and tobacco: If you are a smoker, quitting it will surely lower your risk of stroke.
- Keep your weight down: You should maintain a healthy weight level. Being overweight and obese can increase your risk of stroke.
- Get checkups: Stay always in communication with your doctor and maintain an ideal healthy body. Have regular body check-ups to keep you healthy.
- Healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a Healthy Life Style can help to prevent stroke. Avoid Smoking, limit Alcohol consumption and eat foods with low fatty acids
- Stress management: It is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you are experiencing the symptoms of a stroke. Early treatment can reduce your risk for do long term disability and complications. Prevention is always better and regular risk assessment and healthy lifestyle and habits go a long way in stroke prevention.