The second main cause for disability in the world is stroke and almost 15 million people suffer from it annually and 1/3 dies from it, while another 1/3 becomes permanently disabled. In the USA it is the 5th cause for death.
The appearance of stroke lowers in the industrial world. However, it grows in the developing world. It was estimated that the mortality from stroke will be raised triple during the next 20 years in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. People from any age can have a stroke but is way more common among people who are over 60.
What is a Stroke?
To simplify, stroke can happen when there is no oxygen in the blood and at that point all brain cells die. There are different consequences such as lose of memory or abilities which are in the part of the brain that was affected.
There are 2 types of stroke:
Hemorrhagic – this type happens when an enlarged artery bursts or a blood vessel leaks and the blood goes directly in the brain and causes pressure.
– Intracerebral hemorrhage happens when the damaged vessel leaks blood right in the brain tissues and kills off the brain cells. In certain cases, the hemorrhage happens because of a genetic malformation of veins and arteries in the central nervous. However, it can be treated if it is diagnosed on time.
– Subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when there is bleeding in the space between the surrounding tissues and the brain. It is mostly caused by a burst aneurysm, yet in some cases can happen as a result of a head injury or using medication for blood-thinning.
Ischemic – it appears as a result of blood clot in a blood vessel or a blockage blood, which cuts of the blood supply to the brain and this type of stroke is more common.
• In the circulatory system there is a possibility of blood clot formation and breaking of the arterial plaque and if this happens it can reach to a very small blood vessel and be stuck, which is called an embolic stroke.
• A thrombotic stroke is the situation when the blood clot forms in the arteries which bring blood to the brain and causes blockage.
• A transient ischemic attack, which is usually called a “mini-stroke”, is actually a temporary blockage of blood to the brain and it can cause no long-term damage. Stroke symptoms can a stroke may manifest alone, but they can go away n just dew minutes. It is very important to look for a healthcare provider in case you think you are having a TIA—very often is the precursor of a full-blown ischemic stroke.
What can contribute to having a stoke?
Stroke can happen with no warning and among children as well. Some of these risk factors can be the reason for a stroke.
• Alcohol drinking or consuming cocaine or methamphetamine
• Sickle cell disease
• Atherosclerosis or different cardiovascular diseases.
• Chronically high cholesterol
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Stress and depression
• Long-term use of certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), (ibuprofen / naproxen)
• Smoking cigarettes
• Poor diet
12 symptoms of a having a stroke
Symptoms of having a stroke depend on which part of the brain is affected. If you know the stoke signs you will get the needed medical attention and prevent serious damage or disability.
1. Pain on One Side of the Face
Inexplicable and sudden on one side of the arms, face, leg or chest is not a typical symptom, but it is not uncommon. Usually they appear among women.
2. Blurry Vision
Immediate difficulty to see clearly, and having double or blurred vision, different changes in sight or inability to focus the eyes can be a sign of having a stroke.
3. Difficulty swallowing or breathing
Women can have more symptoms of a stroke than men and some of them are difficulty in swallowing or breathing. Other signs are irritation, sudden pain, hallucination, fainting, vomiting, nausea or hiccups.
The delayed hands tremors can usually be very uncommon symptoms of stoke but they are confirmed symptom of cerebral infarction, which is obstruction of blood supply to the brain.
5. Loss of Balance
Lack of coordination, sudden dizziness or balance loss is very common symptoms of stroke and they should be taken very seriously.
6. Difficult to Walk
Sudden tingling or numbness anywhere in the body or trouble with waling or instability can be signs of a stroke.
7. Facial Paralysis
It is one of the best know symptoms of stoke. Weakness, paralysis or sudden numbness can mean that a stroke is happening.
If this happens you should try and raise your arms over your hands. If one of the arms is falling down it can mean that you are having a stroke. It is the same case if you try to smile and one side of the mouth drops down.
If you have normal headache you will feel a dull squeeze and you will have no other stroke symptoms. The migraine is sharp and there are other symptoms as well. However, a sudden and sharp pain can be a sign of stroke. This can happen especially among women.
If you are doing something and all of a sudden you feel very confused or not able to concentrate as well as distracted it can mean that you are having a stroke.
Imbalance or dizziness does not have to be stroke symptoms, but if they are accompanied with vertigo it can mean that you are having a stroke. Vertigo is the sensation of spinning and swaying with no moving or a feeling that the objects in the area are moving, but actually they are not. When it happens alone it can mean there is imbalance in the inner ear, which can be cured.
When there is a brain stroke, the prognosis is good enough:
It is possible to recover from a brain stem stroke, because brain stem strokes will not have an impact over the language ability and the patient will be able recover quickly. Most of the deficits are not cognitive, they are motor-related. Vertigo and double vision will resolve after few weeks of recovery.
11. Trouble Speaking
The area which is mostly affected by the stroke is the speech area and if you are not able to speak or you if you are experiencing slurred speech it can mean that you are having a stroke.
During a stoke women more than men can fell a weakness, sudden fatigue, changes in mental state and confusion.
You should now that 80% of stokes can be prevented and in order to avoid it you should think about these lifestyle choices:
• Have a healthy blood pressure.
• Have a healthy weight.
• Exercise on a regular basis.
• Do not drink excessive amount of alcohol.
• Have normal blood sugar levels.
• Quit smoking.
FAST for stroke
You should seek medical attention if you experience some of the stroke symptoms. You can use different medications which can dissolve the blood clots and you will remove the obstruction and the blood will start flowing again.
In medical circles, the acronym “FAST” is used for understanding stroke symptoms and you need to remember:
– F (Face): the person should try and smile and you should look for signs of mout or one side dropping.
– A (Arms): the person should try and raise both hands above the head.
– S (Speech): the person should try talking or repeating a sentence or words with no slurring.
– T (Time): do not waste any time. Call the ambulance and look for help if you see or notice a person with stroke symptoms.