If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment. – Carlos Santana

What is stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency that happens when the blood supply to the brain or to a part of it is interrupted or reduced. This deprives the brain tissue of oxygen, nutrients and glucose. Within minutes these deprived brain cells begin to die, causing a stroke. If not caught early a stroke can cause permanent brain damage.

Possible Causes:

There are two types of stroke causes. A person suffers a stroke when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or ruptures (haemorrhagic stroke). When this happens, brain cells don’t receive oxygen and begin to die. The loss of brain cells causes the patient to lose abilities controlled by that part of the brain, such as memory or muscle control.

Risk Factors:

There are a number of risk factors that could increase your chances of suffering a stroke.

  • Men are at higher risk than women, and this risk increases once they cross the age of 55.
  • Lifestyle risk factors include being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking and use of illicit drugs.
  • Medical risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, cardiovascular disease etc.
  • Personal or family history of strokes, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.
  • Hormones, such as the use of birth control pills or hormone therapies that include oestrogen, as well as increased oestrogen levels from pregnancy and childbirth.

Signs and Symptoms:

It’s important to recognise stroke symptoms and bring the person to Medcare as soon as possible. Look out for these symptoms – confusion, difficulty in speaking, paralysis or numbness, blurry or blackened vision, a sudden and severe headache or dizziness. Some stroke symptoms are more common in women. These are nausea, hallucination, pain, weakness, difficulty in breathing, losing consciousness, seizures, disorientation and a sudden increase in agitation.

Diagnosis:

In case of a stroke, get the right diagnosis at Medcare to identify underlying causes. In order to establish that you have suffered a stroke, the specialist will start noting your symptoms and conduct a thorough physical exam. Other investigations that the doctor may opt for include a blood test, CT scan, MRI, carotid ultrasound, cerebral angiogram or echocardiogram.

Treatment Options:

Your doctor will determine the best line of treatment for you. A program to recover from a stroke will typically include medications and may involve surgical procedures such as thrombectomy, stents, surgery, coiling and clamping.

A recovery and rehabilitation programme is also very important after a stroke. You should also follow your doctor’s advice for stroke prevention.

FAQs:الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • A family member has been diagnosed for being at a high risk of a stroke. What should I know?

    A: If you suspect someone is having a stroke, remember the acronym F.A.S.T.
    F: Face drooping.
    A: Arm weakness or numbness.
    S: Speech difficulty.
    T: Time is of essence, get emergency help.

  • Are disabilities caused by a stroke such as paralysis or speech difficulties permanent?

    A: This depends on how long the brain lacked blood and what cells were affected. Some people recover their abilities over time while others have lingering disabilities. Physical therapy and speech therapy can help with recovery. There may also be emotional or behavioural changes in the patient.

  • How long does it take to recover from a stroke?

    A: This is different for each individual and depends on how the brain was affected. Many people recover in approximately 3-4 months, while others take 1-2 years to recover.

  • My family member is recovering well physically, but seems depressed after the stroke. Do I need to do anything?

    A: Many stroke survivors suffer from depression, which can hinder recovery. Speak to a doctor to create a plan to help your loved one overcome depression.