Stroke How to avoid it and tips to prevent it

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Anupama Nair

A stroke is a matter of great concern. What is a stroke? “A stroke is a medical disorder in which the blood supply to the brain gets disrupted, resulting in cell death”. According to doctors, the risk factors for a stroke increase with an unhealthy lifestyle habit, making it important for us to recognize the symptoms and understand what to do in case stroke strikes us.

As per doctors there are two main types of stroke — Ischemic stroke caused by lack of blood flow and hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding. They lead regions of the brain to stop working properly. “Inability to move or feel on one side of the body, and if you face trouble understanding or speaking, dizziness, or loss of vision on one side are all signs and symptoms of a stroke”. A transient ischemic attack  or TIA, often known as a mini-stroke, occurs when symptoms appear for less than two hours. A severe headache is often associated with a hemorrhagic stroke. Stroke symptoms sometimes can last a lifetime. The long-term effects may include pneumonia and the inability to regulate one’s bladder.

These are the commonly experienced symptoms of stroke. There could be other symptoms too, so do not ignore your health.

  • Numbness or weakness in one side of the body, especially the face, arm, or leg.
  • Confusion, difficulty in speaking, or difficulty understanding speech that may occur suddenly.
  • Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes.
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, sudden difficulty in walking, or a lack of co-ordination
    i.e., numbness or paralysis of the face, arm, or leg. You have to be careful as it only affects one side of the body. In case one is unable to lift one arm or when one side of the mouth begins to droop, immediately seek medical assistance.
  • Double vision or blurred or darkened vision in one or both eyes.

You need to remember, during a stroke, time is of utmost essence. Call emergency services and get to the hospital immediately. A stroke can produce dizziness or unconsciousness, which might lead to a fall.

 

In case of an emergency, take the following steps:

 

  • Make an emergency call. Have someone else call for you if you are experiencing stroke symptoms.
  • While you wait for emergency assistance, try to remain as calm as possible. If you’re looking after someone who’s had a stroke, you need to make sure they are in a safe and comfortable position.
  • In case the patient vomits, make them lie down on one side with their head slightly lifted and supported. Examine their breathing. Perform CPR, if they are not breathing. If they’re having difficulty breathing, then loosen any constrictive clothing, such as a tie or scarf.
  • To keep them warm, wrap them in a blanket.
  • Don’t let them eat or drink anything.
  • Keep a close eye on the person for any changes in their condition.
  • Prepare to describe their symptoms to the doctor. If the victim fell or injured their head, make sure to mention it.

 

Prevention

 

You need to know the stroke risk factors, following the doctor’s advice, and leading a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to avoid a stroke. The following are some general tips for a healthy lifestyle.

 

  • Keeping high blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is commonly treated with healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.
  • Lowering the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet is a must. Reduced cholesterol and fat intake, particularly saturated and trans fats, may help to prevent plaque development in the arteries. If dietary modifications alone aren’t enough to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering drug.
  • Quit the use of  tobacco and alcohol. Smoking and drinking increases the risk of stroke.
  • Besides these, you need a proper diet, exercise, and weight loss that can all help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. If lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient to maintain your diabetes, your doctor may prescribe diabetes medication.

 

 

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