Stroke happens without warning and often calls for a lengthy process of rehabilitation. Here are three warning signs that you should keep an eye out for.
According to the Health Promotion Board, stroke happens when the brain’s supply of blood is disrupted, killing some cells. This results in a loss of function, as the affected part of the brain controls separate body functions. Symptoms vary depending on which part of the brain has been affected.
What causes a disruption in blood supply?
Arteries, which largely carry oxygenated blood from the heart, have the function of transporting blood to other parts of the body.
A stroke occurs when a cerebral artery becomes blocked or bursts. Being stressed or having a salt-and-fat heavy diet puts an individual at higher risk of these irregularities.
Types of stroke
Although the following may read like a medical encyclopaedia, here’s a brief description of different types of strokes:
Ischemic – blocked artery to brain, occurs in 87 per cent of all cases
Hemorrhagic – ruptured artery to brain, occurs in 13 per cent of all cases
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – temporarily blocked artery to brain that causes no permanent damage. TIA typically lasts for under five minutes.
The three warning signs
If a person is experiencing any of these symptoms, he or she may be suffering a stroke.
1) Sagging face
Check if one side of the face is drooping or has lost sensation. Ask the affected person to smile. Is the person having difficulty smiling or is the smile uneven?
2) Weak arms
Determine if the affected person is experiencing a loss of strength or sensitivity. Do a test by getting him or her to raise both arms, and see if one starts to sink downwards.
3) Difficulty in speech
Try having a conversation with the affected person. Is he or she able to repeat a sentence without difficulty? Having a slur or finding it hard to speak is a clear tell-tale sign.
Besides resulting in a lack of function, remember that a stroke is dangerous and potentially fatal. If a stroke is suspected, seek medical help immediately as this will help to minimise its health impact.