Stroke is one of the leading causes of death. It ranks as the fifth leading killer in America and is also a common cause of disability for many adults. Each year, nearly 800,000 Americans have a stroke. Dr. Tracy Fulton in Alexandria helps people recover from stroke and get back to doing their usual activities.
We always plan for a better future by protecting our assets. The brain is the most important organ that controls all the others’ activities. A stroke requires urgent medical attention to prevent further brain damage or more severe complications.
Types of Stroke
Stroke, also known as a brain attack, occurs when the brain’s blood flow decreases or gets cut off. Brain cells lack sufficient oxygen and start to die within minutes. There are three main categories:
- Ischemic stroke: It is the most common, constituting 87% of all stroke cases. A blood clot inhibits blood and oxygen from reaching the brain area.
- Transient ischemic attack: Occurs when there is inadequate blood flow to the brain for a brief period. It is referred to as a mini-stroke because symptoms often resolve independently after normal flow resumes without the need for treatment.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: Occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or starts to leak in the weakened areas.
There are clues the body sends to indicate the brain is not getting sufficient oxygen. If you experience more than three signs, contact a doctor immediately. Sometimes they may last for only a few moments. They include:
- Sudden problem with the sight in one or both eyes
- Sudden weakness of the face, leg, or arm, especially affecting only one side of your body
- Sudden chronic headaches with no known reason
- Drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting
- Trouble in walking and loss of balance
- Difficulties when talking or trying to understand speech
Having a risk factor does not necessarily mean you will have a stroke. It only indicates that your chances are higher. They are:
- Gender: Men have a higher probability of getting a stroke in the young and middle ages than women. Women have strokes in older ages and are more likely to cause their death.
- Age: Stroke affects people in all age groups—however, the risk doubles after age 55. There are chances of stroke for children in the perinatal period as well.
- Family history of stroke: Stroke can be a genetic tendency that runs in families. The common lifestyle in family members also contributes to familial stroke.
- Medical factors: Some medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, and cardiovascular diseases increase the risks of a stroke. Medical risk factors are treatable or manageable.
Different factors cause both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, making diagnosis an essential part of treatment. Successful recovery will involve specific therapies and support systems such as speech therapy, physical therapy, and support groups. The doctor will also advise you on the precautions to avoid a repeat of a stroke in the future.
The Integrated Neurology Services team is committed to delivering compassionate and comprehensive care until you can resume your routine. They also offer other neurology services to treat dementia, movement disorders, and migraines. Book an appointment online today.