As one of the leading causes of death, those who survive a stroke often require long-term care as an aftereffect. What does it mean when someone suffers a stroke and why is it critical for anyone around them to recognize it as soon as possible? If the answers to these questions don’t come easily, it’s best you give this potentially life-saving article a read.
What is a Stroke?
It is a disease that affects the arteries within and leads to the brain. Strokes occur when a burst artery or a clot prevents blood carrying nutrients and oxygen from reaching the brain. Since the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function, the part of the brain that does not receive blood will start to die, even if it is for a short time. Did you know that brain cells begin to die even within a few minutes without blood? There are three main types of strokes – ischemic, hemorrhagic, and a transient ischemic attack or a “mini-stroke”.
Symptoms of a Stroke
If you haven’t committed this potentially lifesaving F.A.C.E. acronym to memory, take this time to learn it. The likelihood of a stroke occurring is increasing due to lifestyle factors like smoking and obesity, especially among people aged 18-50, so education is more important than ever. Everyone has a duty to be armed with this knowledge of the signs of a stroke so that you can recognize a stroke as soon as possible and get help before a person’s condition becomes life-threatening.
- Facial drooping
- Arm weakness
- Slurred speech or speech difficulties
- Time to call 911
If a person is not able to speak a full sentence, smile with both sides of the mouth, or lift both arms, it is essential to seek emergency care as any of these symptoms can indicate a stroke.
Effects of a Stroke
The brain is an extremely complex organ with each area being responsible for a specific function or ability. How long it takes for a person to receive treatment allows more brain cells to be damaged or die. When an area is damaged from a stroke, the loss of normal function of a specific part of a body may occur, resulting in a disability. With these being said, surviving a stroke is a life-changing experience. Some people experience only minor effects like difficulty with coordination or fatigue, but others may need to relearn basic support functions like swallowing and walking. Most of those who suffer a stroke will require ongoing support. It will take patience and knowledge to surpass and overcome the challenges it brings, but it is certainly possible.
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