A medical emergency, stroke is a condition which requires prompt medical attention to save the patient’s life. It occurs when the blood supply to brain is reduced or interrupted, resulting in a lack of nutrient and oxygen supply to the brain cells and tissues.
The disruption in blood supply might be due to a rupture or blockage of the blood vessels. The oxygen and nutrient deprivation can lead to death of brain cells that can cause complication if prompt treatment is not provided. An early intervention can limit the level of damage.
How to detect Stroke?
The main symptoms of stroke include: -
- Inability to think and talk properly
- Numbness of arm, leg or face
- Blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes
- Severe and sudden headache
- Trouble in walking.
Since the condition requires prompt attention, it is important to realise the symptoms quickly. To confirm the discomfort felt is the beginning of stroke think ‘FAST’.
Face – check whether the persons smile makes a face droops to one side
Arms – check if the person has trouble lifting one or both arms
Speech – check for slurred speech
Time – if the above are detected in the person, don’t waste time, get help as soon as possible.
Types of Strokes
- Ischemic Stroke – most commonly found type of stroke, it is caused due to narrowed or blocked arteries that supply blood to the brain.
- Haemorrhagic stroke – caused due to a rupture or leak in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain.
- Transient ischemic attack – also called as mini stroke, it occurs due to a decrease or reduced blood flow to the brain, which is temporary.
Risk factors for Stroke
The risk factors for stroke include hypertension, elevated level of cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, heavy drinking, smoking, drugs, conditions like obesity, diabetes and so on. They are known to occur mainly in men and at an age over 55 years.
Stroke treatment is based on a diagnosis conducted with the help of MRI, Carotid scan, Brain angiogram and so on. The treatment procedure involves medications and surgical intervention and is decided upon depending on the intensity of the issue.
Dr Shyam Sundar, a pioneer in neurosurgery based in Chennai, is specialised in handling neurological conditions like stroke.
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