Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Over 140,000 people die of stroke each year from stroke in the United States. Moreover, it is the leading cause of severe long-term disability in the U.S. 

Do you know how to recognize the signs of a stroke? Are you at risk? How can you help someone with a stroke? These are specific questions you must have running in your minds. We are here with a blog that will help you unravel the answers to all the stroke questions. Read them carefully and help yourself or your loved one recover from a stroke better. 


What is a stroke?


A stroke is a “brain attack” or an injury to the brain that takes place when blood flow to the brain is obstructed, causing the death of brain tissue. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot interrupts a blood vessel to the brain. This Contributes to nearly 80% of all strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain gets broken and bleeds into the brain, harming the surrounding tissues.


What is a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)?


A transient ischemic stroke also referred to as a mild stroke, is a major warning. It persists for just a few minutes but still requires medical assistance. TIAs should be treated in the same way as a stroke - call 911 to immediately get to the hospital. If you have had a TIA in the past, you are at an elevated risk for permanent brain injury - a stroke.


How can you identify a stroke?


The earlier you detect that your loved one is having a stroke, the better it would be. Just remember the F.A.S.T acronym to identify a stroke.


F: Face drooping - During a stroke, one side of the face could become numb or droop. It can make the person’s smile appear uneven.


A: Arm weakness - A stroke causes weakness in one arm or a feeling of numbness. If you request a person who is having a stroke to lift both of their arms, one will rove downward.


S: Speech difficulty - Someone who is having a stroke will possibly be unable to speak appropriately. Their speech will be slurred, or it will be challenging to comprehend them. They usually will scuffle to repeat a simple sentence.


T: Time to call 911 - If you notice any of these symptoms in a loved one, call 911 straight away and get to a hospital. Do not hesitate! Even if only a few of the symptoms are present, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to note when the stroke symptoms begin to show up, even if they end up going away.


Are strokes hereditary?


It does appear that genetics play a role in the risk of strokes. Certain conditions that can bring about stroke have hereditary links, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. In case these conditions run in your family, there is a significant probability that you share those risk factors.

In case these risk factors don’t run in your family, but you have a parent who had a stroke, research has revealed that you are more susceptible to get a stroke yourself. One study suggests that children of people who have had strokes before the age of 65 years were two times more prone to have a stroke at some point in their lifetime. And four times more prone to experiencing a stroke by age 65 compared to study participants whose parents had not experienced a stroke.


How are strokes treated?


No matter whether a stroke is mild or severe, the most significant part of the treatment process is to seek help instantaneously. The more quickly you seek medical assistance, the better odds there are of minimizing long-term damage. Based on the type of stroke, treatment may include a wide range of medications, therapies, or, in severe cases, surgery.


Can stroke patients recover fully?


Yes, stroke patients can recover completely. Out of all stroke cases, nearly 10% of people can make a full recovery, while 25% will recover with some minor impairments. 40% of people may have severe impairments and will require special assistance. About 10% of people may require a nursing home or long-term care facility after stroke. Regrettably, 15% of people could die of stroke. 

Strokes have a significant impact on the brain and nervous system, and sections of the brain can experience cell damage. Luckily, the damage is often temporary, and even in cases where the stroke permanently kills brain cells, healthy regions of the brain usually take over for the impaired portions. This kind of recovery differs from patient to patient and can't be anticipated, but even stroke patients with severe damage occasionally make remarkable recoveries. Therapy and rehabilitation can aid the recovery process, both physically and mentally.

Also Read: Top 3 ways to prevent High Blood Cholesterol

Who should be concerned about a stroke?


Everyone should be well aware of this disease, as it is the third leading killer. The leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. Stroke can affect anyone irrespective of age, even if otherwise healthy. Hence, it is essential to identify the warning signs of a stroke and call 911 immediately when they occur. Certain people are at significant risk for stroke, although “modifiable” risk factors can be managed with the assistance of a doctor:

Following are some of the modifiable risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease, like atrial fibrillation

Some of the unmodifiable risk factors are listed below:

  • Being older than 55 years of age
  • A family history of heart disease or stroke
  • History of stroke or TIA
  • Race: African-Americans and Hispanic people are at considerable risk


How long does it require for a stroke patient to recover?


Majority of stroke patients will require some kind of rehabilitation, and the recovery time changes by the individual. Some people recover very quickly, but if the stroke or the associated complications were severe, it might take several months or even years. The rehabilitation process will amend over time based on the patient’s requirements and progress.


How can you lower the risk of a stroke?


You can minimize your stroke risk by keeping your cholesterol levels within healthy limits, managing blood pressure, keeping diabetes under control, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and maintaining healthy body weight. You should discuss with your doctor whether you are at risk for stroke and how you can lower the risk.


Can stress cause a stroke? What can you do to reduce stress?


Yes, stress could be a contributing factor to a stroke. While minor everyday stress will likely not elevate your risk of a stroke, chronic or long-term stress could. One study revealed that people who reported chronic stress over the past year were four times more susceptible to stroke than those who did not have any chronic stress in their lives.