Stroke

Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and ranks first among causes of disability in adults. What people don’t realize is 80 percent of strokes can be avoided. A stroke happens when there is a blood clot in an artery or a blood vessel ruptures, putting a roadblock in the way of the natural flow of blood to the brain. If either of these situations occurs, brain cells will die, and brain damage sets in.

Once brain cells begin to die, the functions control powered by that particular region of the brain deteriorate or are completely lost. Speech, motor skills, and memory are just some of the abilities that could be affected. The level to which a victim is impacted is dependent upon the location of the brain where the stroke occurs and the degree of brain damage. For instance, a minor stroke might result in the loss of strength in a person’s arm or leg, but someone who has a major stroke could suffer complete paralysis on one side of the body or be unable to talk. Some stroke patients will bounce back to go on to lead normal lives, but more than 2/3 of them are stuck with a disability for the rest of their lives.

Symptoms

  • Lack of feeling or strength in face or extremities (common on one side of body)
  • Confusion or inability to comprehend
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with eyesight in one or each eye
  • Unsteadiness on feet
  • Vertigo
  • Coordination loss
  • Extreme headache

Risk factors

Anyone can suffer a stroke, but various prerequisites will increase your chances. Some of these are uncontrollable:

  • Older than 55
  • Male
  • African American, Latin, or Asian/Pacific Islander descent
  • Family history of stroke

However, most risk factors can be controlled such as:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diet
  • Exercise

Treatment

Dedicated rehabilitation is essential to a rapid recovery from a stroke. Rehabilitation assists the patient in relearning elementary life skills like speaking, eating, walking, and getting dressed. The objective is for the victim to reach a point where they are functioning as independently as possible. Depending on the severity of your stroke, health insurance plan, and income, treatment services may include:

  • Rehab unit in hospital
  • Subacute care unit in hospital
  • Hospital specializing in rehabilitation
  • At-home therapy
  • Home offering outpatient therapy
  • Long-term care accommodations with therapy and experienced nursing

Treatment actually begins at the hospital as quickly as possible following admittance to the facility. Patients in stable condition may commence rehabilitation just two days after the stroke. Your physician should be able to tell you what can be expected from your specific stroke treatment agenda.

Prevention

The National Stroke Association’s stroke prevention suggestions provide advice on how to reduce your susceptibility to suffering your first stroke. These guidelines were compiled by the NSA’s Stroke Prevention Advisory Board, a group of cutting edge researchers who have dedicated themselves to stroke prevention. In 1999, they first appeared in a publication called the Journal of the American Medical Association and have since been updated in light of present-day medical ethics. The NSA recommends that you consult your physician to guide you through the following list:

  1. Keep track of your blood pressure.
  2. Get yourself tested for atrial fibrillation.
  3. Stop smoking.
  4. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  5. Have your blood tested for high cholesterol.
  6. If you have diabetes, treat it with care.
  7. Exercise often.
  8. Adjust your diet to lower sodium and fat intake.
  9. Get examined for circulation problems.
  10. Understand symptoms related to stroke.