CoFund Health Blog > Stroke Symptoms, Treatment, and Help
Stroke Symptoms, Treatment, and Help
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that every year, nearly 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke. It is the fifth-leading death cause in the United States, killing about 1.4 million Americans each year. Within every 4 minutes, a stroke claims a life.
With increasing age, your chances of having a stroke also increase. Genes also come into play sometimes, and you may get a stroke because of a genetic disorder. Besides age and family history, your gender also makes you vulnerable to have a stroke if you are a woman.
Stroke –An Insight
Perhaps, someone in your family or friends had a stroke and made you think, “What is a Stroke?” It is not you alone. Several people ask this question on the internet every day. What are the signs of a stroke? What are the stroke symptoms, and causes of a stroke? If you are one of them, then read along.
Definition of Stroke
You get a stroke when the bloodstream to the brains is cut off, or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds. The ruptured vessel blocks the blood supply to the brain. As a result, the brain tissues don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients. Hence, a part of the brain gets affected. Lack of oxygen causes damage to the brain cell and tissue. Within minutes, the cells begin to die. Hence, a stroke is a medical emergency.
Signs and Symptoms of Strokes
A rapid response is crucial to the stroke patient’s survival. The earlier you take action, the lesser the brain damage and life risk involved. Be vigilant, observe the signs and symptoms, and how long they have been visible.
Remember the term FAST. It will help you to recognize the symptoms. If you observe any of the following symptoms in yourself or someone, respond quickly.
Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven or lopsided?
Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately. Quick link: Emergency room near me.
While these are the same symptoms that you may see in both sexes, some of the stroke symptoms are more common in women. Women are more likely to die from a stroke than men in the US. It is the fourth-leading cause of death in the US for women. Here are some of the women stroke symptoms you should look for other than the common symptoms.
Dizziness, faintness, loss of consciousness, or seizures
Hallucination, or confusion
Disequilibrium or disorientation
Nausea, or vomiting
Pain and extreme fatigue
Shortness of breath
Agitated behavior is also a symptom of stroke in women sometimes.
Types of Strokes
There are three main types of stroke that a patient may experience. Let us break down all three of them.
An ischemic stroke is the most common stroke; 87% of all the strokes are ischemic. You get an ischemic stroke when an artery, supplying blood to the brain, gets blocked. The ischemic strokes are further divided into two types:
Thrombotic Stroke – occurs when a blood clot forms within the blood vessels inside your brain. Older people are prone to thrombotic stroke because of diabetes or high blood pressure.
Embolic Stroke –occurs when a blood clot forming outside the brain travels in the brain through a blood vessel. Embolic strokes are likely to occur in patients with heart problems.
When a blood vessel in the brain gets ruptured, it causes a hemorrhage stroke. The vessel most likely ruptures due to high blood pressure thereby causing bleeding in the brain. A hemorrhage stroke maybe
Intra-cerebral: a result of a ruptured artery in the brain.
Subarachnoid: a result of a leakage in the blood vessel causing bleeding within the brain.
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)/ Mini stroke
TIA or mini strokes are brief episodes of the common stroke symptoms. The blood flow to a brain part is interrupted for a short time. The symptoms of a mini stroke go away within 24 hours as the clot dissolves on its own, leaving no permanent damage to the brain. However, mini strokes can cause a stroke. It increases the risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke in 40 percent of patients.
Risk Factors for a sroke
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have outlined the risk factors that make a person susceptible to strokes. There is no one thing that is the cause for a stroke. The more factors a person has, the higher the chances of having a stroke.
Here are some of the typical causes of stroke the are more difficult to manage:
High blood pressure
A mini stroke
Age, genes, and gender
However, there are certain factors that you can and should manage to reduce the likelihood of a stroke. These include:
Alcohol and drug addiction
Lack of physical activity
High Cholesterol level
CDC has declared strokes as one of the primary cause of serious long-term disability. The annual cost of treating stroke patients in the US has exceeded $34 billion. The cost covers the healthcare services for the patients, the expenses of medicine, and lost workday productivity. However, according to the American Stroke Association, stroke is “preventable, treatable, and beatable.”
The faster you can recognize the signs, the chances of surviving or treating a stroke are higher. The main motive of stroke treatment is to control the bleeding and ensure smooth blood flow. After the diagnosis, the doctor may use medicines to break down the clot. “Time is the brain” –reaching the hospital within three hours of an ischemic stroke increases the chances of survival.
However, if medicines don’t work, then the doctors perform surgery to remove the build-up from the blocked artery.
In case of a hemorrhagic stroke, surgery is necessary to repair the damaged vessel. Doctors use a surgical procedure to reduce the brain pressure and remove the blood from the brain.
Once the patient is in stable condition, the stroke recovery takes time and there is no single stroke recovery timeline just as there is no answer to “how to recover from a stroke?” How long will the patient take to resume the normal activities depend on the intensity of brain damage. For rehabilitation after a stroke, doctors may suggest occupational, physical, and speech therapies to help the patient get back to normal.
The average individual costs of a stroke are hard to pin down. The direct costs include hospital charges, doctor’s fee, and prescription medication expenses as part of the ongoing stroke treatment. Lost work time of patients and caregivers, compounds the overall cost of a stroke. According to the National Stroke Association, about 10 percent of people who have a stroke recover almost completely, with 25 percent recovering with minor impairments.
While there are health insurance programs that can help a patient to bear the expenses, crowdfunding and medical fundraising are gaining popularity. It is no surprise that many Americans are turning to crowdfunding sites for their medical expense coverage. Help paying bills from a stroke are popular fundraising campaigns category on CoFund Health. To crowdfund your medical bills, you simply have to create your CoFund Health campaign and describe the situation that led you to needing financial assistance from others. Many people may empathize with your situation, but you really must explain your story in a way to compel them to want to help. You will also need to share your campaign directly with others and on social media to make sure as many people see your campaign as possible.
Strokes are preventable. Maintain a healthy lifestyle—exercise, eat a balanced diet, quit smoking or drugs, and seek medical help for medical conditions. Also, if you find any signs of stroke in a friend or family member, be quick and remember:
FAST –Face, Arm, Speech, and Time. Rush to the hospital before it’s too late!
Matt Martin is the co-founder of CoFund Health, a crowdfunding site for personal healthcare needs, and CoFund My Pet, a crowdfunding site dedicated to pet’s health. As a veteran & business-owner, he aims to continue a lifetime of service to others. For more information visit cofundhealth.com or cofundmypet.com.
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