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What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a critical condition that needs immediate medical attention. A stroke is caused when blood circulation to your brain is blocked. Given the urgent and life-threatening nature of strokes, it’s important to know what signs to look out for and what to do in the event of a stroke.

Types of Strokes: 

There are four main types of stroke:

  • Ischaemic Stroke: This type of stroke is the most common. It’s caused when the brain is starved of blood & oxygen due to a blood clot.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel is damaged, resulting in an artery bleeding into the brain.
  • Brain Stem Stroke: This type of stroke occurs when the base of the brain doesn’t receive blood supply. It affects your breathing and heartbeat.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack: This is the mildest type of stroke. It’s normally called a “ministroke” and does not cause long-lasting damage. However, this type of stroke can be a cautionary sign of future strokes to come.

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke :

When a stroke occurs, the brain is in a state of emergency. Without the blood supply and oxygen it needs to function normally, other parts of the body are quickly affected. Remember “FAST” when checking for a stroke.

A good way to remember the symptoms of a stroke is with FAST:

  • Face. A common sign of a stroke is facial drooping. This is the result of the brain struggling to control the face. Facial signs of a stroke include one side of the face sagging, a drooping eye, and an inability to move facial muscles.
  • Arms. Another common sign of a stroke is an inability to control your arms. Muscle weakness can make it hard to lift both your arms and keep them up. Sudden, sharp numbness in one arm is also a major sign of a stroke.
  • Speech. The next sign to look out for is an issue with speech. A person suffering from a stroke may jumble their words, speak in slurred sentences, or be unable to speak at all despite “looking” fine and conscious.
  • Time. Timing is extremely important when dealing with a stroke. If you notice one or all of these symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.

When to see a doctor for a stroke?

Immediately. If you’re experiencing any sign of a stroke, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Timely medical attention and treatment, in the event of a stroke, can have a life-saving impact.

Causes of Strokes

While all strokes are a result of a complication in the brain, different types of strokes have different causes. Here are the causes of each type of stroke.

  • Ischaemic Stroke: This type of stroke is caused when a blood clot blocks the steady supply of blood and oxygen to the brain. This type of stroke can also be caused by an irregular heartbeat as part of a condition called atrial fibrillation.
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the skull bursts, causing blood to leak into and around the brain. Abnormal blood vessels in the skull and blood vessel expansion can also cause this stroke.
  • Brain Stem Stroke: This type of stroke occurs when blood supply to the base of the brain is blocked. This can be caused by either a blood vessel blockage or a damaged blood vessel bleeding into the brain stem.
  • Transient Ischemic Attack: This temporary type of stroke is caused by a buildup of fatty substances on an artery. The damaged artery then struggles to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain, resulting in a mild stroke.

Risk Factors for Stroke

There are multiple reasons you may be at a higher risk of having a stroke than someone else. The likelihood of a stroke is determined by a handful of factors from age and diet to blood pressure, medical history, and family history.

Here are the main risk factors for stroke:

  • High Blood Pressure: This is the leading risk factor for strokes. High blood pressure makes it hard for blood vessels to smoothly travel through the body. Left untreated, a blood vessel may struggle to supply blood and oxygen to the brain. This can result in a severe stroke or a temporary ministroke.
  • Obesity & Lifestyle: Excessive amounts of alcohol, tobacco, and fatty food can all put you at risk of having a stroke. A diet rich in fat & sugar, combined with a lack of exercise, can lead to fatty deposits on an artery. These fatty deposits make it hard for the artery to deliver blood and nutrients to the brain.
  • Medical History: Medical conditions like diabetes, obstructed sleep apnoea, and kidney disease can have complications that lead to a stroke.
  • Family History: A family history of high blood pressure can put you at risk of having high blood pressure, making you more vulnerable to a stroke.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Atrial fibrillation is a medical condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. This condition can result in complications with delivering blood and oxygen to the brain regularly, resulting in the risk of a stroke.


Stroke Treatment in Dubai & Sharjah

At Medcare you have access to the best neurosurgeons in Dubai and Sharjah who are skilled in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation process of our patients with stroke.

Book an appointment at Medcare today

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