What You Need to Know About Stroke?
What is Stroke?
Stroke, in clinical terms, also called hemiplegia is a paralysis of one side of the body. Movement becomes difficult on one side. Very often there are sensory affections as well where the person cannot feel sensations like touch, pain or temperature on the affected side. Stroke is also associated with many other symptoms such as speech problems, facial paralysis on lower side of the face and memory issues in few cases.
Myths about Stroke
There are many myths depending upon how aware are people about them. And some of the most common which healthcare professionals come across are:
- A stroke patient cannot perform his activities of daily living as he used to perform earlier.
- Stroke is incurable and irrecoverable.
- People believe in certain superstitions like Almighty is angry on you or wants to punish you and hence you got stroke.
- Stroke paralyzes you for life and you can never lead a regular and normal life.
- Using paralyzed or affected side can cause more harm.
- Applying oil and massaging the affected upper and lower limb will cure stroke.
Facts of stroke disease are exactly opposite to the above myths
Cause of Stroke
Stroke is usually caused due to a blood clot in the artery which supplies blood to your brain. This clot stops the blood flow to certain areas of brain depending upon whichever artery is involved and hence the symptoms occur. This type of stroke is called ischemic stroke. Another important cause of stroke occurs in hypertensive (high blood pressure) patients, when the blood pressure shoots up in the artery of brain, the artery bursts and the blood spreads to different areas of brain. This type of stroke is called hemorrhagic stroke.
Symptoms of Stroke
Symptoms of stroke may vary according to the area of affection of brain. Some of the common symptoms are:
- Motor paralysis- Paralysis of affected half side occurs and hence movement becomes difficult. Lifting up of arm and leg in acute stage is not possible at all. But in chronic stage as the tone develops, movement becomes possible.
- Aphasia- It is a language and speech disorder. This also occurs if the tongue muscles are paralyzed. Many a times the patient is able to speak very fluently but the perception and understanding of speech is lost.
- Sensory involvement- Stroke patients can have sensory issues if sensory area in brain is involved. Fine touch, pain, temperature recognition sense can be lost in acute phase. Many a times, patient do perceive hyper-sensations like tingling or lot of itching on the affected half side.
Cognitive and Perceptual problems- Stroke patients can have difficulty in understanding and interpretation. Patient gets confused might occur when multiple questions are asked or when it comes to multi-tasking.
- Facial paralysis- Drooling of saliva and difficulty in chewing food occurs on affected side due to facial paralysis.
Few of the very rare symptoms that usually occur in chronic stroke are:
- Agnosia- unable to recognize.
- Prosopagnosia- unable to recognize faces.
- Hemianopia- vision field of the half side is affected.
- Hemineglect- Patient tends to forget the affected half side of body.
There are many such rare symptoms. Occurrence of these symptoms is dependent on the artery involved and which area of brain is affected. Old aged stroke patients might also suffer from bowel and bladder issues.
In next article, I shall mention about what can you do as a family member for patients who are suffering from stroke. I have tried to explain everything that you need to know about occurrence of stroke in simple terms. I request you to take up the small quiz at the end which is just a small check if you have understood the 'must know' information of stroke. Feel free to reach out in case of any doubts or send your queries in comment section.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Natasha Tungare