Stroke threat to human life is very large, so it is necessary to understand some of our knowledge of stroke. How would you know if someone were having a stroke? Let’s investigate the early warning signs, the causes, and ways to prevent stroke.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is the result of the blood supply to part of the brain being suddenly interrupted, either by a clot blocking the blood vessel, or when a blood vessel or aneurysm in the brain bursts. What happens is that the blood spills out into the spaces surrounding the brain cells and cuts off the blood and oxygen supply to cells beyond the burst area.
What causes a stroke?
- Arteries narrowing with age (also known as ‘arteriosclerosis’)
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Alcohol abuse
- An irregular heartbeat
- Haemorrhagic strokes can also be caused by treatment with blood-thinning medicines given to prevent blood clots (such as warfarin).
What are the early warning symptoms?
- Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden trouble seeing with one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble with walking
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
What is the best way to prevent stroke?
Strokes can usually be reduced by making positive lifestyle changes such as:
- Make regular exercise a habit
- Eat a healthy diet
- Don’t smoke
- Only drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
- Manage cholesterol levels and high blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and medication
- Know your family medical family and get regular check-ups
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