With the winter here, the reduction in temperature might have unexpected consequences for your health, particularly your heart. According to a World Health Organization report, stroke is the second biggest cause of death, claiming around 60 lakh lives worldwide each year.
According to a Lancet study, approximately 7 lakh stroke-related fatalities occurred in India in 2019, accounting for 7.4% of total deaths that year.
In an interaction with OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Kunal Bahrani Director, Neurology, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad explained strokes to us.
What Is Stroke?
When the blood supply to the brain is compromised, a stroke ensues, either by a clogged fistula in the brain (ischemic stroke) or by a vessel burst in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).
Once a patient has had a stroke, they are more prone to having recurring strokes. Thus, it is important to take necessary precautions to counter stroke incidents.
Also read: Diabetics Are At Risk Of Stroke, Reduce The Risk With These Tips
Symptoms Of Stroke
Stroke signs and symptoms include:
- Having difficulty in communicating and understanding what people are saying.
- You may become disoriented, slur your words, or have difficulty following a discussion.
- Experiment with extending both arms above your head at the same time. If one of your arms begins to fall, you may be having a stroke.
- One side of your mouth may droop as you try to smile.
- Vision problems in one or both eyes may occur. You may notice blurred or darker vision in one or both eyes as well as get double vision.
- A stroke may be indicated by an abrupt, severe headache that is followed by nausea, lightheadedness, or altered consciousness.
- You might trip or lose your balance. You could also experience dizziness or loss of coordination.
Some therapy options are most effective when administered soon after the onset of a stroke.
Also read: Study Links Air Pollution To Increased Risk Of Stroke And Fatality
- Strokes can be prevented by regular intake of your prescribed medication that may include blood pressure medicine. Statins are cholesterol-lowering medications that help lower cholesterol, as well as anti-clotting medications such as aspirin and other blood thinners.
- Certain medications that help keep your blood sugar as close to normal are also very helpful in the prevention of stroke.
- Lifestyle changes like exercise, smoking cessation, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, also low-fat dairy products go a long way in the prevention of strokes.
- Cutting down on your salt intake on the recommendation of your doctor to 5 gm per day or one teaspoon per day can aid in stroke prevention.
- Movement or activity even for short durations as short as five to 10 minutes after every one hour of inactivity is helpful.
- Quitting tobacco in any form, whether oral, cigarette, or bidi, is also beneficial.
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