The brain can be starved of oxygen in one of two ways: the blockage of an artery or the bursting of a blood vessel. Either of these instances invariably causes a stroke. When an artery is blocked depriving the body of blood and nutrients one has what is known as an Ischematic Stroke which accounts for roughly 85% of all strokes. When a blood vessel leaks or bursts the resultant stroke is known as a Haemorrhagic Stroke. The causes may be different but the effect is basically the same.
Signs of Stroke It is a popular misconception that a stroke strikes suddenly and without warning. This is incorrect and one needs to learn what signs to look out for to save oneself or a loved one from a disease that robs one of adequate mobility and independence. One of the first signs of an impending stroke is slurred speech. This is very easy to spot since a deviation in normal speech draws immediate attention. It could mean a stroke is on the way. Medical intervention at the earliest possible moment cannot be over-emphasised. The illness may be weeks away or just a few hours. Coupled with slurred speech one may also have difficulty in understanding others speak and may experience some level of confusion. Other symptoms to look out for include a sudden severe headache accompanied by vomiting and dizziness. Sudden blurred vision (in one or both eyes) and sometimes double-vision may herald a stroke. Sudden dizziness leading to loss of balance and coordination may signs of an impending stroke. Stroke Symptoms Sudden numbness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg (typically on one side of the body) may mean you are in the initial stages of having a . A droop on one side of the mouth will often be noticed alongside these signs. stroke
What is Stroke ? Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.
These signs may come and go and sometimes even disappear. This does not mean that the body has somehow regulated itself. Seek medical advice immediately, even if it is at the middle of the night. Those few hours may be all that stands between you and a debilitating disease. Should you experience a mini-stroke, known medically as a Transient Ischematic Stroke (TIA) and which is caused by a temporary decrease in blood supply to the brain, seek medical advice anyway. A mini stroke puts you at a higher risk of having a full-blown stroke at a later date. There are a few simple tests that one can do at home to possibly rule out or confirm an imminent stroke. Asking the affected person to repeat a simple phrase enables you to gauge two things: whether they have understood you and whether they are able to repeat in clear speech your phrase back to you. Request the person displaying the symptoms enumerated above to raise both arms above their head. If one arm drifts downwards or if the person is unable to raise it act fast and take them to a suitable health facility or, when this is not possible, call the paramedics immediately. The third simple test that you can perform at home is asking the person to smile. Should a droop on one side of the face be evident, act swiftly and seek immediate medical intervention. Stroke Awareness Month 2017 Stroke Awareness Month will focus on educating the general public on, among other subjects germane to the disease, these simple observable signs and tests that one can quickly perform at home and quite possibly turn the tide and help check this illness. Among important topics to be discussed include pointing out lifestyle risk factors (obesity, heavy alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and the use of illicit drugs) and medically-related risk factors such as having diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disorders, high blood pressure and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea refers to a sleep disorder where oxygen levels drop sporadically during the night. Advocacy, community presentations and social media platforms will provide avenues for all who are affected by Stroke to engage, inform and learn on ways to help those living with it and empower caregivers to better look after them.