Do not miss symptoms of stroke

Last updated date: 18-Jul-2021

Acibadem Altunizade HospitalGeneral Health
Acibadem Altunizade Hospital

3 mins read

Paralysis, or colloquially called stroke, is one of the conditions that affect quality of life drastically and it is the second most common group of diseases that cause death.

5 signs of paralysis

Stroke occurs in 1 person every two seconds and 17 million persons annually while 6 million people die every year due to this condition all around the world. In the light of data issued by Turkish Statistical Institute, number of fatalities due to stroke has gradually increased recently – translating into death of 40 thousand people in 2016. Therefore, it is very crucial to recognize signs of stroke at an early stage.  

Signs of stroke

Treatment of stroke at an early stage can eliminate the blood clot, which hinders blood supply to the brain, and prevents the irreversible damage. But, the earlier treatment is started after symptoms manifest, the more effective treatments are. Therefore, it is very critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible without waiting for symptoms to disappear, if one recognizes facial distortions, weakness in arms and legs, impaired speech, double vision and/or sudden onset unconsciousness.

Time is crucial in treatment

Stroke develops due to occlusion of or an aneurysm in great arteries that supply blood to the brain or capillaries of the brain. Eighty percent of stroke cases occur due to vascular occlusion. Vascular occlusion is secondary to clot formation or innate mechanisms in the vascular wall. As a result, blood flow to the brain becomes insufficient and damage occurs in the watershed zone of the blood vessel(s). Hemorrhage into tissue is seen in approximately 15 percent of the stroke cases due to perforation of the capillaries. In both cases, certain areas of the brain become dysfunctional and stroke emerges. Approximately 20 percent of the patients lose their lives or survive with severe disabilities after stroke. At this stage, the later the treatment is performed, the more severe disabilities are faced.

Treatment of stroke

Stroke is a partially treatable condition. However, early and quick treatment is a must. The earlier treatment is started after symptoms manifest, the more effective treatments are. Treatment of stroke at an early stage can eliminate the blood clot, which hinders blood supply to the brain, and prevents the irreversible damage. The early treatment can create a significant difference in quality of future life, but a definitive treatment should be started at a qualified healthcare within the first 4.5 hours after the onset of the condition. Thrombolytic therapy is used to dissolve clots or ensure patency of blood vessels. Patients with past history of stroke or who have risk factors such as hypertension should not stop their medication, thinking they have “recovered.” Discontinuation of blood thinners, antihypertensive agents and cholesterol-lowering drugs makes the patient prone to future stroke. In such cases, stroke may lead to more severe results compared to the initial incident.

Life style modification is as important as medication

The first step in prevention of stroke is to recognize risk factors and take relevant precautions. The most important elements include but are not limited to hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiac diseases (especially arrhythmia), sedentary life, excessive weight and high cholesterol. Regular supervision of blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol and cardiac examinations are, therefore, crucial after the age of 40, but these precautions should be started at an earlier age in people with family history of stroke. Life style modifications are as important as medication in stroke. Healthy eating, regulation of fat and salt in diet and eating more fruits and vegetables are required to prevent stroke. Avoiding excess weight and stress as well as regular exercises are among the precautions that can be taken to prevent stroke. Additionally, one should not smoke and avoid second hand smoking. Alcohol consumption should also be minimized. If one does not exercise regularly, public transportation should be used to go to work and get home or vehicle should be parked at a distance from work place or stairs should be preferred over elevators/escalators at every chance, including shopping malls.

 

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