Posted: March 24th, 2023
In the recent years, stroke has been classified amongst the deadliest diseases in the United States. It is a sudden neurological deficiency caused by an impaired perfusion to the brain (Bogousslavsky, 2001). In addition, the condition is caused by a variety of reasons ranging from gender, age, and weight. Other causes include personal and family histories of stroke occurrences, as well as drug abuse. Stroke related cases have recorded up to 800,000 patients in the United States with each instance being registered in every 40 seconds (McIntosh 2015). However, experts have identified newer methods of diagnosing the slightest traces of the condition. In fact, better methods of treating this disease have evolved consistently, thus preventing more deaths. Hence, this study intends to educate people about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and rehabilitating of the condition in a bid to reduce or eliminate deaths caused by this deadly disease.
Strokes manifest similar symptoms; hence, medics have subdivided this disease into various categories based on their main causes. The three major types include Ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic. Ischemic stroke is the most popular occurrence, recording up to 85% of all the cases. The patient experiences blockage of some vital arteries connected to the brain, which may have narrowed resulting in a severe reduction in blood flow to the brain (McIntosh 2015). The obstructions occur because of the formation of blood clots in the arteries connected to the brain or from other places within the body. Eventually, these clots pushed to the brains and deposited in the narrowed arteries. In other cases, this type of stroke can occur if the brain has a lot of fatty deposits and cholesterol clogging in the vessels. Consequently, clotted or narrowed arteries eventually lead to an insufficient supply of blood into the brain. It is important to understand that unless this kind of blockage is diagnosed and treated, the patient could succumb to an ischemic stroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by ruptured or leaking blood vessel in the brain. In the process, the blood seeps into other brain tissues, a situation that causes severe damages to the cells. The main causes of this type include hypertension, aneurysms (weak blood vessel walls), and trauma (Beckerman, 2015). Transient Ischemic attack (TIA) or mini strokes are quite different from the other two because only temporary disruptions are experienced for a short period. However, there is a similarity between TIA and ischemic strokes because they are both caused by blood clots in the brain. Although the condition is characterized by minimal interruptions in the body, it should be treated with the equal seriousness. Indeed, mini strokes often act as warning signs that a major stroke could occur in future. Individuals who have experienced TIAs should also consider undertaking some tests to identify and treat the partially blocked arteries. People who have had a TIA are most likely to have a serious stroke within the same year if they do not receive specialized treatment (Mozaffarian et al., 2013). From the recent developments, lifestyles have increasingly contributed to stroke cases, especially excessive alcohol intake during one’s midlife and weight gain due to over-reliance on fast foods. In addition, people with poor reasoning and problem solving are at a higher risk of diagnosing a stroke. Surprisingly workaholics are also facing a significant problem of possibly succumbing to a stroke. However, the causes of stroke may vary differently, but immediate actions should be taken to prevent any further damages.
In many cases, a stroke occurs without any symptoms. However, there are few signs that are witnessed before a patient is completely diagnosed with the disease. These include speech problems, severe headaches, confusion, unconsciousness, sight problems, and vomiting. In other cases, people experience numbness in the face, legs, and arms, particularly on either side of the body. Some people may also have some trouble walking, experience dizziness, and incoordination of their body parts. However, there are some other particular signs that assist in diagnosing the condition, which include a drooping face, weak arms, and difficulty in speaking or a slurred speech. In addition, the patients often experience long or short-term problems depending on when the problem is diagnosed and treated (Beckerman et al., 2015). Some people may have temporary or permanent disabilities after the stroke. The other outcomes of the disease include bowel control difficulties, depression, and paralysis. In addition, the patients experience sore hands, feet, changes in temperature, and difficulties in expressing or controlling their emotions. Therefore, the earlier the patients receive the treatment, the lesser the damage.
All types of stroke require different treatments; therefore, medics have to run a brain scan to detect the type of stroke they should diagnose. Ischemic stroke patients experience blocked or narrowed arteries; hence, the doctor’s focus is restoring an adequate and smooth flow of blood to the brain. Patients can be treated either with aspirins or through the injection of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA). In this approach, the drugs are administered to eliminate the clots and to prevent more residuals from blocking the arteries (Bogousslavsky, 2001). The injection can be directly administered into either the blocked artery or use a catheter to remove the deposits, which prevent the flow of blood to the brain.
Hemorrhagic stroke patients experience bleeding or leaking arteries in the brain. Therefore, its treatment focuses on reducing and treating the pressure. Hypertension drugs are administered to lessen the pressure on the brain, prevent seizures, and sudden constrictions of the blood vessel. Besides, emergency surgeries can repair the affected arteries that have caused this kind of stroke. Surgeons often place clamps on the base of the weak arteries by filling them with detachable coils to prevent rupture and stop any further blood flow.
Stroke survivors often experience either or both emotional and physical problems that require rehabilitation for a full recovery. Such undertakings include a speech therapy that helps improve voice production and the physical therapy that assists the patients to relearn the coordination and movement. In addition, occupational therapy is a great session that helps patients learn how to undertake their daily routines such as cooking, bathing, eating, reading, writing, and dressing (Bornstein, 2009). It is imperative for the affected to join support groups where they can deal with mental problems resulting from a stroke.
As evident from the above discussion, the global stroke awareness should be commenced, an initiative that would educate people about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and rehabilitation programs. Although the symptoms are sometimes similar, the research revealed that each type of stroke requires specific treatment according to its cause. Therefore, the faster the condition is treated, the lesser the complications it may have on a patient. Notably, it is almost impossible to eliminate strokes. Therefore, creating awareness on its fatality and helping the affected patients will reduce the stroke-related deaths. Finally, rehabilitation programs should be established to assist the patients in their journey of full recovery.
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