Stroke is among the most important cause of disability worldwide; reason behind it, is the lack of awareness among people. Recognizing the early signs of stroke can save lives, improve quality of life and prevent long-term disability.
A stroke occurs due to damaged brain cells because of reduced blood supply. Blood carries oxygen to the brain. Without oxygen, brain cells begin to die.
There are two types of stroke Ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, more than 80% of strokes are Ischemic stroke. It happens when a clot of blood blocks blood vessels in the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and blood spills into or around the brain.
Stroke in every person is different, and so is disability. The nature of disability depends on the part of the brain affected. Different disability in stroke patients are:
· Paralysis - Hemiparesis i.e. unable to move one side or one part of the body
· Sensory disturbance - stroke patient may lose the ability to feel pain and touch
· Language problem - In this particular condition, person cannot speak properly.
· Difficulty in standing and walking.
Patient can prevent lifelong disability and dependence by learning about stroke symptoms.
· sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
· confusion or trouble speaking or difficulty in understanding
· sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
· loss of balance, or coordination and unable to walk
· Sudden onset of severe headache without any known cause.
Stroke is preventable
You can reduce your risk of stroke by properly treating and controlling conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. Regular health checkups are also important for the timely diagnosis or treatment of associated disease or condition
In Stroke “time lost is brain lost” so do not delay and rush a stroke patient to the nearest hospital with CT scan facility to prevent long term disability and dependence.
The author of this article is Dr. Rohit Gupta, who is a Director of Neurology Department at Metro Heart Institute with Multispecialty. He has treated thousands of national and international patients and has successfully thrombolysed more than 400 paralytic patients with excellent results.