September 6th, 2022
If you want to know brain stroke symptoms in men, women, and children, pay attention to sudden changes in how your body functions. A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds or the blood supply to the brain is cut-off. Blood and oxygen cannot reach the brain's tissues due to the rupture or obstruction. As a result, brain cells and tissue start to die within minutes without oxygen. According to the CDC, stroke is the biggest cause of death in the United States.
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What are Brain Stroke symptoms?
There are three types of strokes. Each has different symptoms.
Ischemic stroke is one of the most common types, which happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke is the second most common type, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is a mini-stroke that happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked for a short while.
Symptoms of all three types of stroke are similar because they all hamper brain function. But they may differ in how quickly they happen and how severe they are. The most common symptoms are sudden weakness or numbness in your face, arm, or limb. It happens because the part of your brain that controls that muscle is not getting enough oxygen. It may happen on one side of your body or both.
Other Brain Stroke symptoms include:
Confusion or trouble understanding other people
Trouble speaking or difficulty finding the right words
Sudden trouble with eyesight, problem while walking, dizziness
Risk Factors for a Stroke
There are many risk factors for stroke, some of which you can control and some that you can't.
Controllable risk factors
High Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure is the most controllable risk factor for brain stroke. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a red flag for the risk of a stroke.
Smoking: Cigarette smoking nearly doubles your risk of having a stroke. Quitting is the best way to reduce your stroke risk.
High cholesterol: High levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol raise your risk of stroke. Work with your cardiologist to find ways to lower your LDL and raise your HDL.
Diabetes: This disease raises your risk of stroke by damaging blood vessels. You can control diabetes through diet, exercise, and, if necessary, medication.
Uncontrollable risk factors
Age: Your risk of stroke goes up as you get older. People over the age of 65 are the most common sufferers of strokes. But younger people can have strokes, too. About 10% of all strokes happen to people under age 45.
Gender: Strokes are more common in men than in women.
Family history: Your risk is higher if there is a history of stroke in your family.
Race: African-Americans have a much higher stroke risk than whites. Hispanics and Asians also have a higher risk than whites.
What to do when someone has a Brain Stroke?
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act FAST. It is an acronym for:
Face: Ask the patient to smile and notice if one side of the face droops.
Arms: Raise the patient's arms and check if one arm drifts downward.
Speech: Ask them to repeat simple phrases and notice if their speech is slurred or strange.
Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Brain cells are dying as the minutes pass. Get the patient to a hospital fast.
You can also use this acronym to remember the signs of a stroke: FAST.
How is a Brain Stroke Treated?
The most common treatment for stroke is thrombolytic therapy. It involves giving the person clot-busting drugs intravenously (through an IV). These drugs are used only if the person arrives at the hospital within 3 hours of when their symptoms first appeared. Thrombolytic therapy can significantly reduce the damage caused by a stroke, but it is not without risks. It may cause internal bleeding in the brain. That's why this treatment is for patients at a high risk of a stroke.
Another treatment for ischemic stroke is angioplasty and stenting. This procedure opens up blocked arteries by using stents (mesh tubes) to keep the arteries open. Angioplasty and stenting are usually done within 6 hours of when the person first had stroke symptoms.
If you have a hemorrhagic stroke, treatment will focus on controlling the bleeding and reducing pressure in the brain. It may involve surgery to remove the blood collected in the brain or repair an aneurysm or other problems.
After a stroke, rehabilitation is vital as it can help you regain independence and improve your quality of life. It often includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and counselling.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any brain stroke symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Many treatment options are available for brain strokes; the sooner they are administered, the better the chances for a full recovery.
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