A stroke is an injury to the brain that happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. The tissue starts to die without blood delivering oxygen to the brain and the functions that are managed by those brain cells, such as speaking and muscle control, become defective. There are two classes of stroke, ischemic, and hemorrhagic. “Nearly all strokes are ischemic and are caused by a blood clot blocking an artery leading to the brain”, shares, Dr. Sujay Shad, the Best Cardiac Surgeon in India at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, Delhi. The other class of stroke is hemorrhagic. This type of stroke is brought on when a blood vessel in the brain splits or breaks, leading to bleeding which damages the surrounding brain tissue.
TIA Is Similar To A Stroke
A Mini Stroke or Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an event that occurs when blood flow stops to a part of the brain for a short time. TIA is similar to a stroke and causes the same symptoms, but usually lasts minutes to hours and does not cause damage to the brain. Healthcare providers assess a patient’s overall picture, in addition to the span of symptoms, and perform an MRI to check if the patient had a TIA or a stroke.
A TIA begins the same as an ischemic stroke. The cause and symptoms of TIA and stroke are the same. However, in TIA, the stoppage is short-term and blood flow returns naturally on its own. Symptoms of a TIA resolve and normal function returns in minutes to hours. The medical prognosis for TIA is good since blood flow rectifies, causing no damage to brain cells. In reverse, the recovery and prognosis for a stroke differs. This is because blood flow does not resolve, and brain cells are damaged permanently. Immediate treatment may increase recovery and improve medical prognosis, but the symptoms of stroke may be long-lasting and never completely resolve. Recovery from stroke may last for an elongated time and require continuing therapy.
The National Stroke Association and other organizations suggest using the phrase BE-FAST as a simplified way to find out if someone is having a stroke or TIA and what to do.
B - Balance. Are they having a hard time staying upright and sturdy on their feet?
E - Eyes. Look over for eyesight loss.
F - Face. Ask the person to smile; if one side of the face droops, it is a warning sign.
A - Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms; if one arm has difficulty moving, it is a warning sign.
S - Speech. Ask the person to speak something; if the speech is mumbled, it is a warning sign.
T - Time. If a person develops any of the warning signs, it is time to consult a doctor immediately.
Other symptoms of a TIA may include the following:
- Numbness in the face, arm, or leg, usually only on one side of the body
- Difficulty in speaking
- Tingling sensation
- Loss of balance.
TIAs are an early threatening sign that a person is at risk of stroke, so the symptoms should not be neglected. The risk of stroke is especially high within 48 hours after a TIA. Since the symptoms of stroke and TIA are the same, an individual should look for medical attention immediately even if the symptoms go away.
Risks of TIA and stroke include:
- The risk of stroke doubles with each decade after the age of 55 in both men and women.
- Family history of stroke
- Heart disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Smoking (both tobacco and marijuana)
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Drug addiction
One must follow the following tips to reduce the risk of future TIAs or strokes:
- Quit smoking.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure and follow the doctor’s treatment plan if blood pressure is high.
- Observe your cholesterol levels and follow the doctor’s treatment plan if your cholesterol level is high. The target low density lipoprotein (LDL) level is less than 100 mg/dl in patients with stroke or TIA and lower than 70 mg/dl in patients who also have diabetes.
- Eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, poultry, nuts, and low-fat dairy products.
- Exercise. Participate in 3 to 4, 40-minute sessions of moderate to intense aerobic exercise per week.
- Wear Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device if diagnosed with sleep apnea and the doctor recommends use of this device.
If anyone is, experiencing any type of concern related to the heart and associated organs they can consult Dr. Sujay Shad, best Heart Surgery Doctor in India. He specializes in performing lifesaving heart surgeries like Heart Transplants, Coronary Bypasses, HOCM, Aortic Surgery, and Mitral Valve at Best Hospital for Heart Surgery in India, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, located at Rajinder Nagar, Delhi.