When it comes to stroke, a quick response is key. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every moment is important because ‘a brain is lost as much as time is lost’. Delayed treatment can result in disability or death.
In the United States, where one stroke occurs every 40 seconds, May is designated as Stroke Awareness Month. In May, CNN’s Internet edition introduced ways to detect signs of stroke early and receive medical help.
what is a stroke
According to the CDC, a stroke is when blood flow to the brain is blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. “An attack on the heart is a heart attack, and an attack on the brain is a stroke, which usually results from a sharp decrease in blood flow to the brain,” said Dr Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention at the National Jewish Health Department.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Most strokes are ischemic, which occurs when blood to the brain is blocked by a clot or plaque. A leak or rupture of an artery in the brain is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
When blood is cut off in a short period of at most 5 minutes, it is called a transient ischemic attack. The CDC explains that this is also a medical emergency and could be a warning sign of a future stroke.
In a hemorrhagic stroke, blood leaks from the arteries when excessive pressure is applied, causing damage to brain cells. In the case of an ischemic stroke, when blood flow is stopped, brain cells can begin to die within minutes because they cannot get the oxygen and nutrients they need.
What are the signs of a stroke?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a stroke can be noticed when a person develops a sudden and severe headache, vision problems in one or both eyes, numbness or numbness of the face or limbs, and problems speaking or understanding others. .
Experts coined the word ‘FAST’ as a way to identify a stroke. It is taken from the first letters of the words face, arms, speech, and time to call the doctor. First, ask the patient to smile, then look to see if only one side of the face is motionless. Then, have them raise both arms and check whether one arm does not rise or falls weakly. Third, repeat simple words to see if there are any slurred or strange words. “If you have any concerns about any of these, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately,” the Mayo Clinic said.
Stroke treatment and prevention
Treatment and recovery depend on the severity of the stroke and how quickly the person seeks care. “Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States and can cause disability, but it is treatable,” Freeman said.
High blood pressure, age, and a history of vascular disease are major risk factors for stroke. Diabetes and heavy drinking can also increase your risk. “The same factors that prevent heart disease also prevent cerebrovascular disease,” says Dr Freeman.
He highlighted six recommendations to prevent the risk of stroke as well as other vascular diseases. First, quitting smoking is the key to reducing your risk. Also, to reduce plaque build-up, it includes eating a lot of natural foods, exercising 30 minutes a day, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep.
Finally, building a network of love and support is also important to your health. “In today’s world, this may sound cliche,” he said. “But people who are loved and supported and have strong social relationships actually have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Reporter Lee Bo-hyun [email protected]
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