A stroke is a sudden interruption or reduction of blood flow to the brain, caused by any of the following:
- The artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked, which is called the ischaemic stroke and the most common type of stroke.
- The artery in the brain breaks open and blood leaks out to the brain cells, which is called the hemorrhagic stroke.
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”, is caused by a temporary clot. The symptoms are similar to a full stroke, but mostly temporary and disappear after a few minutes or hours. This is a warning of a future stroke and should be taken seriously.
All events will reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, therefore damaging parts of the brain. Stroke requires immediate medical attention as every minute counts. Fast treatment can lessen the brain damages caused by stroke.
It is very important to recognize the warning signs of stroke in order to seek immediate medical attention. Common warning signs of stroke include:
- Sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden blurred, blackened or doubled vision
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache
Stroke can cause temporary or permanent consequences, depending on the area of the brain affected and also the duration affected. These consequences will affect greatly on the quality of life, such as:
- Loss control of muscle movement or paralysis, such as on one side of the face, arm or leg
- Muscle tightness and pain on arm or leg
- Difficulty in speaking, understanding speech, swallowing or eating
- Difficulty in thinking, reasoning, making judgment and having memory loss
- Difficulty in controlling emotions and may develop depression and become more withdrawn from the society
- Loss of self-care ability and help is needed in daily life
There are some of the ways we can do to reduce the risk factors of getting a stroke:
- Control your blood pressure and keep it at a safe level
- Reduce the intake of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Keep your blood sugar in a healthy range
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables that contains beneficial vitamins and minerals for good health