Stroke signs and symptoms
Stroke is an acute disorder of cerebral circulation. It occurs when the blood vessels in the brain are blocked or ruptured. The blood supply to the cerebral hemispheres is disrupted, neurons starve and die.
Stroke is of two main types: ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic stroke. Most often, it is ischemic in more than 80% of cases. It begins due to the narrowing and blockage of the blood vessels in the brain. Blood clots and foreign bodies (including air bubbles from injections) that enter the bloodstream contribute to circulatory disorders. Lack of oxygen and nutrition causes brain cell death.
Hemorrhagic stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage are accompanied by the release of blood from the vascular bed. Hemorrhage can be caused by rupture of the vessel or thinning of its wall. Hemorrhagic stroke always develops very quickly, in a matter of minutes. There is a sharp pain in the head, comparable to the blow of a dagger. The patient loses consciousness; vomiting may begin, and a hematoma forms in the brain tissue, which squeezes the nearest sections. A large hematoma often requires surgical removal.
In all cases, it is necessary to restore the normal nutrition of the neurons as soon as possible; this will stop their further death, help to transfer the disease more easily, and recover faster. You need to know its signs and symptoms to recognize a stroke in time.
Stroke sign and symptoms
There are specific signs and symptoms by which one can assume a pathology of the cerebral circulation and a possible stroke. When they appear, you need to call an ambulance because the count goes for minutes immediately. The main stroke signs and symptoms are:
- Disturbance or confusion of consciousness when a person does not understand where they are.
- Loss of consciousness, even for a few moments.
- Headache, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Weakness in the limbs (left or right only).
- Impaired sensitivity of the arms and legs.
- Unconnected slurred speech.
- Visual disturbances (blurred vision, narrowing of the visual fields, strabismus).
In a state of an apoplectic stroke, a person develops a state of shock; there may be increased drowsiness or unexplained agitation. The sense of balance is disturbed, the sick person begins to stumble out of the blue and fall.
With some stroke signs and symptoms, a person cannot reach the collarbone with their chin. It is caused by muscle spasms in the back of the head. Such spasms occur with cerebral hemorrhage.
Any asymmetry is an alarming sign. Suppose weakness is in one-half of the body if the visual impairment is in one eye; this is because stroke usually affects only one of the body’s hemispheres. And body functions are affected diagonally about the lesion. If you notice any of the listed stroke signs and symptoms, call an ambulance.
Express diagnostics of stroke sign and symptoms
There is a simple technology to identify a stroke. Anyone can identify signs of the disease based on the mnemonic technique, Smile, Speak, Raise.
First of all, let the patient try to smile. With a stroke, this will not work; the smile will be crooked, and one corner of the mouth remains down. Instead of a smile, at best, there will be a crooked grin. Let your loved one say any simple phrase. An alarming sign if they cannot speak the correct words or speech has become slurred.
Then you need to raise two hands in front of you. With a stroke, one of them will not lift well or even move to the side.
Improper lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and bad habits can cause a stroke.
Stroke sign and symptoms are provoked by:
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Elderly age.
Those who have had the disease several years ago are more likely to have a stroke. Repeated strokes are much harder to bear.
Transient ischemic attacks are especially worth mentioning among the risk factors. They are also known as micro strokes. A transient ischemic attack has a temporary nature and the same symptoms as a stroke. A person has a headache, dizziness, one side of the body becomes numb, and speech is impaired. Short-term loss of consciousness may occur. The main difference is that the manifestations of a micro stroke disappear without external traces during the day.
If signs of a micro stroke appear, you should consult a doctor, even if symptoms disappear after 10 minutes. The fact is that almost half of the patients develop a full-fledged stroke over the next five years.
Men get sick and die more often than women, especially before the age of 60. The risk of the disease increases after age 30. Most cases of stroke occur over the age of 45, more than 60% after 65 years.
The combination of several signs and symptoms significantly increases the risk of stroke. Without waiting for the last blow, it is essential to carry out prevention and monitor your health. It is better not to treat such a complex disease as a stroke but to prevent its development.
First aid for stroke
Even if not all signs are present, you need to call a doctor as soon as possible and describe what symptoms the patient has.
- Before the arrival of an ambulance, the patient is comfortably laid, loosening all belts, buttons, and fasteners. You should raise the headboard 30 degrees, and their neck should be in line with their back.
- The patient is not given food or drink so as not to provoke nausea.
- If vomiting begins, the head must be tilted to the side. It is necessary to ensure that vomit does not enter the respiratory tract. You can clean your mouth with a rolled-up handkerchief or bandage.
- It is essential to provide the patient with peace and fresh air.
- Monitor your breathing carefully. If breathing becomes irregular or completely disappears, you should start artificial respiration and chest compressions.
Indirect cardiac massage requires 60-70 pressures per minute for an adult. Every 15 clicks, you should take two quick breaths if one person performs resuscitation. Or one breath for 4-5 clicks if resuscitation is done together.
The criterion for the correctness of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is the pulsation of the carotid artery in the neck and the elevation of the chest at the moment of inhalation.
For a stroke survivor, prompt hospitalization is mandatory. Only in a hospital setting can detailed diagnostics, computed tomography, and intensive therapy be prescribed.
After the patient is discharged, long-term rehabilitation awaits. Healthy brain cells can take over the functions of the lost ones. The most important thing here is regular training, preferably under the guidance of a specialist. Specific exercises will be required to restore body mobility and classes with a speech therapist to restore normal speech.
Human health is very fragile, and the heart and brain are the most crucial organs. Any pathology in them is very dangerous. Treating the disease at home increases the risk of complications.
A person can only be saved if the necessary medical assistance is provided within a few hours. Optimally no more than 2-4 hours. Therefore, it is so important to identify a stroke before the arrival of a doctor.