Your Complete Guide to Understanding Stroke

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 04, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Stroke occurs when brain stops receiving oxygen-rich blood.
  • Paralysis on various parts of the body is a symptom of stroke.
  • One must act swiftly in order to save a person from disability due to stroke.
  • Being overweight and alcoholism put you at a risk of having stroke.

A stroke is a sudden attack which takes place when the supply of oxygen-rich blood is blocked to any part of the brain. When cells of the brain are deprived of oxygen, they soon start dying. Also, a sudden bleeding in the brain can also damage the cells and cause stroke.

What Is A Stroke

What are its Symptoms?

The symptoms of stroke are seen in the parts of the body which are controlled by the damaged brain cells. Some common symptoms of a stroke include sudden weakness, paralysis or numbness on the face, arms, or legs, loss of speech and understanding abilities, and a troubled vision. Apart from these symptoms, a sudden and severe headache may also take place followed by dizziness, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.

When to Seek Medical Help?

When you see the above mentioned symptoms the first thing you must do is think quickly. A delay in the decision making can lead to lifelong effects. Do the following when you see the symptoms of stroke in a person:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile and check if one side of the face is drooping.
  • Arms: Make the person raise both his arms and see if one of his arms is falling downwards.
  • Speech: Ask the person to talk and check if his speech is slurred or strange.

When you observe any of these signs, it is the time you must call for help. Take the patient immediately to the doctor and don’t wait for the symptoms to vanish. The longer you take to reach for medical help, the higher will be the chances of the person have a damaged brain or any other disability.

What Causes a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when any part of the brain does not receive proper supply of oxygen-rich blood. A stroke can also be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a leaking or burst of blood vessel (hemorrgagic stroke). Also, a temporary disturbance of blood may take place in flow of blood through the brain (transient ischemic attack).

What Is A Stroke

Risk Factors

There are many habits which we follow which can easily put us on the risk of having a stroke. These factors also make you vulnerable to having a heart attack.

  • Some of the risk factors which are a part of our lifestyle are:
  • Being overweight or obesity.
  • Lack of physical activity in daily life.
  • Heavy alcoholism.
  • Addiction to illegal drugs like cocaine.

Stroke can only be prevented if you are well-versed about its causes, symptoms, and risk factors.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

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