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A stroke, also known as a brain attack, involves an interruption to the brain's blood supply, often sudden. One of the effects of these attacks is your brain being deprived of nutrients and oxygen. It takes only minutes for brain cells to start to die from oxygen deprivation.
An interruption to the blood supply caused by an artery blockage is known as being ischemic. When caused by bleeding in the brain, these attacks are hemorrhagic. Sometimes, the symptoms last for less than an hour, in which they are called mini-strokes, transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs.
In all cases, the symptoms appear quickly and require a doctor's attention. Recovery varies depending on the individual case, because the severity of the brain injury, as well as which part is injured, make a difference. The sooner a patient receives medical treatment, the greater their chances of recovery and a resumption of normal life.
What are the Types of Strokes?
Ischemic strokes, caused by artery blockages, are responsible for 80% of strokes. Hemorrhages, which involve bleeding in the brain, may take the form of intracerebral bleeding within the brain. Another form is subarachnoid bleeding, which goes into the space surrounding the brain. All of these strokes can cause a lot of damage without the proper attention.
What are the Risk Factors?
There are several risk factors that can increase a person's risk of developing a stroke. These factors include lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and genetic or demographic factors.
Lifestyle-related factors include being overweight or obese, a low physical activity level, binge drinking or heavy drinking, illegal drug usage, or smoking. Exposure to secondhand smoke can also be a risk factor.
High blood pressure and cholesterol levels, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and heart disease are common medical factors. A family history of stroke-related events is another risk factor, as well as having had COVID-19 infection.
Symptoms to Watch For
Walking, seeing, or speaking might be difficult, and there may also be a loss of sensation and weakness. A person having symptoms consistent with one of the types of strokes might have difficulty understanding what people say. Patients may also have trouble talking, including slurring their words or becoming confused.
Paralysis in the arms, legs, or even face can happen. In many cases, only one side of the body is affected. Some of the ways a person may check for a possible brain attack include seeing if one side of the mouth droops while smiling or if one arm drops when both arms are raised.
A loss of balance and coordination, as well as dizzy spells, may affect people having symptoms consistent with strokes. It is not uncommon for anyone experiencing such symptoms to stumble when attempting to walk.
Visual disturbances are also common, including seeing double, losing vision in one or both eyes, or blurred vision. Severe headaches that come on quite quickly are also common with a stroke. Vomiting or a sense of altered consciousness have also been known to happen in patients having brain attacks, including TIAs.
The part of the brain closest to where the stroke happens will see most of the damage. Although headaches are a symptom that many experience, however, many patients don't report pain. In all cases, patients need to be able to spot symptoms so they can receive quick treatment.
Seeing a Doctor and Treatment.
Immediate medical attention is necessary, even if the symptoms don't last or seem to come and go. Although strokes can be dangerous and are scary to go through, deaths from strokes are far less common than they once were. The quicker your treatment, the less your chance of ending up with a serious disability.
Treatments will depend on the type of stroke that you have had but will focus on getting you stabilized and correcting the conditions that lead to the trouble. IV medications to break up blood clots, as well as procedures to broaden arteries might be used. When indicated, procedures to relieve brain pressure are also an option.
Rehabilitation at the hospital, a rehabilitation facility, or a nursing home may take place to help patients readjust to life following their stroke. Doctors strive to have every patient receive the amount of care they require.
If you are concerned about strokes or want to take charge of your health through regular medical care, Faith Medical Clinic in Canyon will be glad to assist you.