Stroke Awareness – Things You Need to Know About Stroke

What is a Stroke?

A stroke may occur is the blood supply to your brain is blocked or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. In both of these scenarios, the brain is devoid of blood and oxygen, triggering a stroke. Without a consistent supply of oxygen, the brain cells start to get damaged and may die within minutes.

With nearly 800,000 annual cases of strokes, it is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.

Stroke Symptoms

The blockage of blood and oxygen supply to the specific areas of the brain leads to damage to brain tissues in those areas, consequently, the symptoms of stroke may show up in certain body parts that are controlled by the damaged parts of the brain.

In case of stroke, time is of the essence, and the sooner the patient is able to get treatment, the more likely his chance to survive the stroke. Thereby, it is important for people to understand the symptoms of the stroke, so they are able to act in time and save lives. Below are some common symptoms of stroke:

  • Paralysis
  • Slurring speech
  • Numbness in body parts (face, arms, legs)
  • Vision problem
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Slurring speech
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble walking
  • Severe headache

As mentioned above, the blockage of blood and oxygen supply to brain cells may lead to damage (permanent damage) in few minutes, thereby it’s important for the stroke victim to get immediate medical attention. Immediate and qualified treatment may prevent the person from

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Long-term disability
  • Death

Thereby, with proper stroke awareness, you will be able to save the lives of your loved ones and those around you.

Types of Stroke

  • There are three main categories of strokes namely;
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA0
  • Ischemic Stroke
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke

The treatment and recovery process will depend on the type of stroke.

  • Embolic stroke
  • Subarachnoid stroke
  • Thrombotic stroke
  • Intracerebral stroke

What Causes a Stroke?

The causes of a stroke may vary from one type to the other.

The TIA stroke is triggered by the temporary blockage (typically blood clot) in an artery, which prevents blood flow to specific parts of the brain, causing damage to those parts. The TIA may last from few minutes to few hours until the blockage is removed and blood flow is restored.

An ischemic stroke just like TIA is caused by the stop of blood flow to certain parts of the brain due to blockage in an artery. In this case, the blockage may be due to blood clots or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis happens when the plaque (fatty substance) break-off from the wall of the blood vessel and blocks blood flow.

The hemorrhagic stroke is much different from the other two types is typically happens due to rupture or bleeding of a blood vessel inside the brain.

What Are the Risk Factors For Stroke?

Various factors may increase the risks of stroke including:

  • Diet
  • Inactivity
  • High Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use
  • Personal background
  • Health history

Diagnosis of Stroke

The diagnosis of stroke will include your medical practitioner asked details about your medical history, as well as, about the family members. Doctors would also like to know about the activities the person was doing when the stroke occurs. Some other details doctors may need for diagnosing stroke includes:

  • Regular medications (if any)
  • Blood pressure
  • Listen to Heart

This could be followed by a physical examination to evaluate:

  • Body balance
  • Muscles coordination
  • Vision issues
  • Body weakness
  • Signs of confusion
  • Numbness is body parts

After that, the medical practitioner may perform some tests, which will help in the diagnosis of the stroke. such tests will help them to know:

  • If the stroke did occur
  • What triggered the stroke
  • Which part of the brain is damaged due to stroke
  • If there are rupture and bleeding inside the brain

How to Prevent a Stroke

A healthy lifestyle is key to prevent stroke. below are some healthy lifestyle tips you can adopt to prevent strokes:

  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
  • Quit smoking
  • Lower your body fat
  • Stay physically active
  • Get regular checkups

The 5 Best Apps for Stroke

The recovery time for stroke patients varies individually. The recovery time will depend on the type and severity of the stroke. Here, we have come up with 5 best apps that will help in the recovery and rehabilitation process of stroke.

As we discussed above, stroke can cause much damage to the brain, which may result in mid to long term health problems. Some of the common post-stroke health problems faced by survivors include degraded communication skills, problems with concentration, and memory functions, as well as, impacts on all cognitive functions. Post-stroke, patients can also experience other issues like depression, anxiety, paralysis, visual impairment, difficulty in movement coordination, urinary incontinence, and others.  

When we talk about stroke, time is of key essence. The faster a patient is provided with the treatment, the more his chances to recover from it. According to statistics, people who are able to receive qualified medical treatment within 3 hours of early stroke symptoms recover as much as 3 months earlier than patients who were treated late. 

And since, it’s one of the leading causes of deaths and permanent disability in the world, many digital entrepreneurs have launched apps to help with the recovery process of stroke patients. From appointment and medication tracking to brain training and language therapy, there are various digital apps that are much useful in the patients’ recovery, as well as, minimizing future strokes.

So, let’s get started with 5 best apps for stroke

1. Cozi

Android: Free

iPhone: Free

Cozi is a free mobile app that’s meant to keep up with the medication and appointment schedule for the patient. The app assists caregivers to manage patient’s daily schedules; especially in cases where there are multiple caregivers.

Cozi, keep a record of the schedules with colour-coded calendars. Caregivers can set reminders for the medication or doctor appointments, so even if the duty is changed, the next person knows the scheduled tasks. Apart from appointment and medication, the app can also store a to-do list like grocery or other items which are needed for the patients.

2. Medisafe

Android: Free

iPhone: Free

Medisafe is a simple to use app that keeps the record for the medication of the stroke patient. According to statistics, not having a detailed schedule for medicine use results in over 50% of patients not taking the prescribed medication on time, which amounts to as much as 700,000 hospital visits and over 100,000 deaths each year. 

With Medisafe, it’s now easier than ever to keep track of the medication schedule at all times. The app can store the schedule for each pill to be taken at different times of the day and caregivers can easily see the next medication to be provided to the patient.

3. Stop, Breathe & Think

Android: Free

iPhone: Free

According to research, the amygdala which is the increased brain activity is one of the main reasons for stress and a high-contributor to strokes. Doctors around the world recommend stroke patients to minimize stress during the recovery phase for faster recovery and low chances of future strokes. 

Keeping in view the importance of minimizing the mental stress, Stop, Breathe & Think is a great app that intends to help patients vent out their anxiety and stress through meditation and mindfulness. The app comes with various yoga, acupressure videos along with high-value guides for meditation and breathing exercises which can be practiced at home to keep in check the stress and emotions.

Stroke survivors can greatly benefit from the stress releasing guides and tutorials included in Stop, breathe & Think videos by taking out a few minutes of their daily routine to exhaust their anxiety and frustration and reclaim the peace of mind. 

4. 7-Minute Workout Challenge

Android: $2.99

iPhone: $2.99

According to research published by Journal or Neurology, three times a week exercise can reduce the chances of recurrent stroke by as much as fivefold. 

This high-value 7-minute workout app brings stroke survivors some data-backed exercise programs which have been proven globally for their impact in reducing the recurrent stroke chances. As can be taken by the name, the exercises included in the app will only take 7-minutes of time, thus essentially all stroke survivors can perform these exercises at the comfort of their homes, without any need of professional instructor or equipment. Just start the app and start performing these high-impact exercises from anywhere.

5. Language Therapy 4-in-1

Android: $59.99

iPhone: $59.99

Aphasia is a common condition that is faced by many stroke survivors. The condition affects the person’s cognitive ability, who find it difficult to comprehend what other people are saying and responding them with the right worlds. Aphasia is one of the most common symptoms of brain damage, as well.

While Language Therapy 4-in-1 may come at a seemingly higher price, it definitely worth its price as it offers scientifically-approved speech therapy exercises that can greatly help in improving the cognitive skills of the stroke survivor experiencing aphasia. There is also a free version of the app available, which you can try to see the value of the course included in the app.

According to one research led by the University of Cambridge, the UK, conducted on stroke survivors showed that using the therapy included in the app for 4 weeks improved the participants’ ability to deal with aphasia.

The takeaway

Stroke awareness is the most potent technique to save lives. It is important to understand the triggers and responses to the stroke to be able to act in time and save your loved ones or people around you. Remember, the earlier the person received qualified medical assistance after stroke, the better the chances of survival or avoid permanent disability.

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