A stroke is a frightening, life-altering event that has serious health implications. Strokes have multiple causes, and how the long-term effects a stroke causes will vary from person to person. Strokes are divided into two different categories: Ischemic and hemorrhagic. Both can be deadly without quick treatment. Learn the differences between them and how to best handle each one.
An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Thrombotic strokes occur when a blood clot forms in an artery leading to the brain, and embolic strokes arise from a clot forming elsewhere in the body that then breaks loose and travels to the brain. Ischemic strokes are more common than hemorrhagic strokes, accounting for an astounding 87% of all strokes.
During an ischemic stroke, people experience a combination of symptoms. Often, an ischemic stroke manifests with numbness or weakness on one side of the body or face, difficulty speaking, and loss of vision or balance. If caught in time, an ischemic stroke is treated with a tissue plasminogen activator, which helps dissolve the clot. However, there is a very limited time that this medication is effective. According to University of Michigan health, the treatment must be administered within 4½ hours after the symptoms first appeared.
When a weakened blood vessel ruptures, it causes a hemorrhagic stroke. Although they are less common than ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes account for roughly 40% of all stroke deaths. During an intracerebral hemorrhage, the blood vessel breaks inside the brain; during subarachnoid hemorrhage, a blood vessel breaks on the surface of the brain. As is the case with ischemic stroke, a common symptom of hemorrhagic stroke is a sudden headache or head pain. This warning sign should not be ignored.
Treatment during a hemorrhagic stroke depends on the extent and location of bleeding. The main objective is to remove the excess blood and stop the bleeding in the brain. This can be done using a surgical clip, coiling, or craniotomy.
Although a stroke can hit any person at any age, some factors increase your risk. Older age, family history, African-American race, and female gender are all risk factors for a stroke. We may not be able to control these risk factors, but fortunately, there are several things we can control to reduce our risk.
According to the Stroke Association, uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of hemorrhagic stroke. Using a blood pressure monitor to keep track of your blood pressure is a simple way to greatly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke. Other controllable risk factors for both types of stroke include:
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- High cholesterol
- Carotid artery disease
- Heart disease
If suffering from diabetes, invest in a diabetic test kit to keep your condition under control. Focus on improving your lifestyle to include a balanced diet and consistent physical activity. Multiple risk factors, like diabetes, high cholesterol, carotid artery disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure are also connected with obesity. To help monitor your weight, use weighing scales and a body fat analyzer.
Lasting Impact of a Stroke
Prevention and early response are the best ways to reduce the effects of a stroke. However, there can be lasting symptoms related to a stroke. The symptoms you experience depends on which area of the brain your stroke damaged. Strokes can cause physical, communication, and emotional/behavioral challenges. While recovering from a stroke that impacted the use of your limbs, you may need to use a wheelchair.
How We Can Help
At Medical Supply Depot, we are committed to helping you live a healthier life. Improving controllable risk factors and early response to symptoms of a stroke is the best method for prevention. We offer an extensive range of medical equipment to meet your needs. Our diagnostic products will help you keep track of your blood pressure, weight, or diabetes to lower your risk of a stroke. To learn more about the full range of products we offer, visit our website or order by phone at 800-965-7496.