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What happens when you have a stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is stopped, interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. Without a blood supply, the brain cells begin to die in minutes.

What are the symptoms when you or someone have a stroke?

Signs and symptoms of a stroke are

  • Unable to understand what the person is speaking
  • Sudden paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg may develop
  • You may have sudden blurred vision
  • Symptoms like severe headache along with vomiting, dizziness, or losing consciousness
  • Losing balance while walking

What causes a stroke?

Stroke may be caused by-

  • a blocked artery (ischemic stroke)
  • bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) or
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA)- a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, that doesn't cause lasting symptoms.

What are the factors that may increase the risk of stroke?

The most common risk factors of the stroke are:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • heavy smoking and drinking habits
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular diseases, including heart defects, heart infection, or abnormal heart rhythm
  • family history of stroke,
  • covid-19 infection

What are the complications of stroke?

Complications may be temporary or permanent. It all depends on which part of the brain lacks blood flow and for how long, will result in the following:

  • paralyzed on one side of the body (loss of muscle movement)
  • difficulty in speaking or swallowing
  • memory loss
  • the person may go into depression
  • pain and numbness may occur in the parts affected by the stroke
  • behavioral changes

How to lower the risk of having a stroke?

To prevent the risk of having a stroke you can make some healthy lifestyle changes:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce the amount of saturated fat in the diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Managing diabetes
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eating healthy foods like fruits, and vegetables -that are rich in fiber
  • Exercise regularly
  • Treating obstructive sleep apnea - loud and constant snoring is the sign of this disorder, which can make you stop breathing many times during sleep
  • Take medications regularly

What tests are done when you have a stroke?

Once the patient reaches the hospital, the doctor will try to determine what type of stroke you're having.

Some of the tests are:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Cerebral angiogram
  • Echocardiogram

What is the treatment given when you have a stroke?

Emergency treatment for stroke depends upon the type of stroke you have either ischemic or hemorrhagic.

Ischemic stroke: the doctors will try to restore the blood flow to your brain as soon as possible. It is done with:

  • Emergency IV medication- medicines are given to break up the clot will be given intravenously within 4.5 hours from the time symptoms have started.
  • Emergency endovascular procedures- the doctor may treat ischemic strokes directly inside the blocked blood vessel.

Other procedures are performed to decrease the risk of having another stroke, the doctor may suggest a procedure to open up an artery that is narrowed by plaque. They are:

  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Angioplasty and stents

Hemorrhagic stroke: the doctor will try to control the bleeding and reduce pressure in the brain caused by the excess fluid.

  • Surgery
  • Surgical clipping
  • Coiling (endovascular embolization)
  • Surgical AVM removal
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

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