Stroke - Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)

What is Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) or Stroke?

A stroke-or-cerebrovascular-accident-cva occurs when there is a sudden interruption in the blood flow and nutrient supply to a part of your brain. The brain cells do not receive the optimum oxygen and begin to die within minutes. As it is a medical emergency, prompt treatment is crucial.

 

Usually, the blood flow to the brain stops if there is a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. Unless you receive medical attention at the earliest, severe damage to the brain can lead to some long-term disability. The outcome can be fatal too.


Plan Consultation

A stroke or cerebrovascular-accident occurs when there is a sudden interruption in the blood flow and nutrient supply to a part of your brain.

Symptoms of Stroke

The onset of the symptoms of stroke is sudden and quick. So you need to watch out for any person showing the following symptoms. If you face such a situation, it will be better to rush to the medical facility as fast as possible. 

  • Sudden numbness or paralysis in the leg, face, arm. One side of the body mostly suffers from such symptoms.
  • Difficulty in walking
  • The blurring of vision or darkened vision
  • Slurring of speech
  • Inability to maintain body balance and coordination
  • Constant dizziness
  • Sudden headache, along with nausea and vomiting

Fundamental Causes of Stroke

Clots or thrombosis can block an artery to the brain. Blood clots occur inside the blood vessels when the diameter of the vessel gets narrower due to atherosclerosis or hardening of the artery. Atherosclerotic plaque is the deposit of calcium and cholesterol on the arterial wall. The blood clot or the plaque can break loose, travel along with the circulatory system, and lodge in the cerebral artery, thus stopping blood flow. Cerebral hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain due to widening or weakening of artery can also be the cause of the stroke. 

When to see the doctor

The symptoms of stroke vary depending on the affected part of the brain and the individual's health condition. To recognize the symptoms faster, you should remember the acronym "FAST."

  • Face: Drooping of any one side of the face.
  • Arm: arm drifts down on holding it outwards.
  • Speech: Abnormal or slurred speech.
  • Time: Call the emergency now and rush to the hospital immediately.

A complete physical examination is essential to check your strength, speech, vision, reflexes, and senses. The doctor will also check for a particular sound in the blood vessels of the neck. The bruit sound indicates abnormal blood flow. A blood pressure check is also mandatory. 

Who are at Risk for Stroke 

Certain factors elevate your risk of experiencing a stroke. 

  • Diabetes along with fluctuations in blood sugar level.
  • High blood pressure, which is always the primary risk factor for stroke.
  • Family history of TIA or stroke-or-cerebrovascular-accident-cva. Heart diseases like atrial fibrillation can cause blood clots.
  • Aging triggers stroke as the arteria wall becomes weaker or hardens with age. 
  • Smoking damage the blood vessels and shoot up blood pressure. 
  • High cholesterol level
  • Regular consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Obesity
  • Absence of regular physical activities. 

 

How to Prevent Stroke

By now, you know the risk factors that increase the possibility of suffering from a stroke. But there are various measures for preventing the condition. So here are the ways that will help to reduce the risk.

  • Maintain normal blood pressure level. If necessary, follow medication. 
  • Refrain from regular drinking, smoking, and consumption of harmful drugs.
  • Control blood sugar level
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Include vegetables and fruits in the diet plan.
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Limit inclusion of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet.

The healthcare provider may prescribe medicines for preventing the stroke-or-cerebrovascular-accident-cva if the doctor knows that you are at risk. The blood-thinning medication works the best to prevent clot formation. 

Treatments for Stroke

The active treatment plan for stroke includes surgery, medicines. And rehabilitation. Depending on the type of stroke, the medical practitioner will decide the treatment plan. There are three stages of the treatment.

  1. Acute treatment: The doctor tries to stop the stroke when it is happening.
  2. Post-stroke rehabilitation: A medical team will help you to overcome the disabilities that result from a stroke. 
  3. Prevention: If this was your second stroke, then the chief aim of the doctor will be to prevent a further cerebrovascular accident.

Related conditions

Recovery from a major stroke will be a long process as the condition can have several effects. Some of these effects are even irreversible. The related conditions include

  • Changes in the senses
  • Spasticity
  • Vision problems with partial or permanent loss of vision
  • Behavioral changes
  • Clinical depression
  • Fatigue
  • Perception, attention, and memory problems.
  • Weakness and paralysis

So after having the stroke, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, acupuncture and yoga practices can help bring back sensation in the numb areas of the body. Muscle weakness and depression are very common as it is difficult to accept a sedentary lifestyle. But if you can follow the doctor's suggestions and start working on each aspect of the recovery process, you can get well soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the different types of stroke?
There are two major kinds of stroke. Ischemic stroke can happen when there is a partial or complete blockage or clot in the artery. 80% of the strokes are ischemic in nature. The rest are Hemorrhagic strokes where the artery or a blood vessel bursts and leaks inside the brain.
2. Why is rehabilitation necessary?
Rehabilitation is a critical aspect of the care system after a stroke. The standard programs include speech therapy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy, which will help you to regain independence gradually.
3. How to react when someone is having stroke?
Quick reaction is the only way to save lives and prevent serious damage to the brain when people have a stroke. The more you wait, the more damage will happen to the brain. So you have to call an emergency service at the earliest. Even if you think that the patient is recovering, don't hesitate to contact the doctor. Brain damages can continue even after several hours of the stroke. The chances of survival and recovery increase with immediate treatment.

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