Unveiling the Silent Threat: Understanding and Preventing Brain Strokes in India
In a nation where health concerns loom large, strokes have emerged as a significant threat to public well-being. While there are multiple factors contributing to this medical crisis, the primary culprits behind strokes in India are alarmingly common. Understanding the causes, recognizing early symptoms, and adopting preventative measures have become imperative in the battle against this silent and potentially life-altering ailment. Dr. Naveen Kumar, Senior Neurologist at Kamineni Hospitals in Hyderabad, sheds light on key insights essential for navigating this health challenge.
There are two main causes of stroke:
- Ischemic stroke: This is the most common type of stroke, accounting for about 85% of all cases. It occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. The blood clot may form in the brain itself or in another part of the body, such as the heart, and then travel to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain.
Some people may have only a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). This is not a stroke, but it can be a warning sign that you are at risk of having a stroke in the future.
The actual causes of stroke can vary depending on the type of stroke. However, some of the most common risk factors for stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Family history of stroke
- Age (stroke risk increases with age)
- Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, atrial fibrillation, and sickle cell anemia
Early symptoms of stroke:
The early symptoms of stroke can vary depending on the part of the brain that is affected. However, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to reach nearby hospital. Stroke is a medical emergency, and the sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome is likely to be.
How dangerous is stroke?
Stroke is a very dangerous condition. It can cause permanent brain damage, disability, and even death. The severity of the effects of a stroke depends on the part of the brain that is affected and the amount of brain damage that occurs.
How to prevent stroke:
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke, including:
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Managing your cholesterol
- Keeping your blood sugar levels under control
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
- Managing any underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease and atrial fibrillation
If you have a family history of stroke or if you have any other risk factors for stroke, it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.