How do I recognize a stroke? Signs and symptoms

Stroke is an acute cerebral circulation disorder. It occurs when there is a blockage or rupture of brain vessels. The blood flow of large hemispheres is disturbed, neurons starve and die.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic is the most common (more than 80% of cases). It begins because of the narrowing and blockage of blood vessels in the brain. Blood clots and foreign bodies (including air bubbles from injections) that have entered the bloodstream contribute to blood circulation disorders. Lack of oxygen and lack of nutrition causes death of brain cells. Although such a stroke develops quite slowly, it is often accompanied by harbingers, which will be discussed below.
Hemorrhagic stroke, as well as subarachnoidal hemorrhage, is accompanied by the release of blood from the vascular channel. Hemorrhage may be caused by a rupture of the vessel or thinning of its wall. A stroke of hemorrhagic type always develops very quickly, in a matter of minutes. There is a sharp pain in the head, comparable to the impact of a dagger. The patient loses consciousness, and vomiting may begin. A hematoma is formed in the brain tissue (blood clot, bruise), which squeezes the nearest departments. A large hematoma often requires removal surgically. In all cases, it is necessary to restore normal neuronal nutrition as soon as possible. This will stop their further death, help them to more easily survive the disease and recover as quickly as possible.

Signs of stroke

How do I recognize a stroke? Signs and symptoms

There are certain symptoms for which we can assume the pathology of cerebral circulation. If they appear, you need to call an ambulance immediately, because the bill is for minutes. The main signs of stroke: a violation or confusion of consciousness, when a person does not understand where he is; loss of consciousness, even for a few moments; headache, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting; weakness in the extremities (only left or right); impaired sensitivity of the hands and feet, unrelated slurred speech, dizziness; visual disturbances (blurred vision, narrowed visual fields, strabismus).
In a state of apoplectic shock, a person is deafened, there may be increased sleepiness or unreasonable excitement. A sense of balance is disturbed, the diseased begins to stutter on a flat spot and fall.
With some types of stroke, a person can not reach the collarbone with his chin. This is caused by a spasm of the occipital muscles. Such spasms occur when there is a brain hemorrhage.
An alarming sign is any asymmetry. If the weakness is in one half of the body, if the visual impairment is in one eye. This is due to the fact that usually only one of the hemispheres is affected by a stroke. And body functions suffer “diagonally” with respect to the lesion.

Simple express diagnosis

To detect a stroke is a simple technology. Anyone can highlight the signs of disease based on mnemonic technique – Smile, Speak, Lift.
The first thing to do is to let the patient try to smile. In case of a stroke, it will not work, the smile will be a curve. One corner of the mouth will remain lowered. Instead of a smile, at best, there will be a crooked smile. Let your loved one say any simple phrase. An anxious sign if he can’t speak the usual words or speech has become unclear.
Then you should raise your two hands in front of you. In case of a stroke, one of them will rise badly or even “float away” to the side.

Risk factors

How do I recognize a stroke? Signs and symptoms

Inappropriate lifestyle, unhealthy diet, bad habits can cause a stroke. The probability of stroke is higher among those who have already suffered this disease a few years ago. Repeated strokes are carried much harder.
Especially among the risk factors we should name transitor ischemic attacks. They are better known among people as microstroke. Transitor ischemic attacks have a transient nature and the same symptoms as strokes. A person has a headache, dizziness, dullness of one side of the body, speech disorders. There may be a short-term loss of consciousness. The main difference is that the manifestations of microstroke pass without external marks during the day. At the appearance of signs of microstroke it is necessary to consult a doctor, even if everything has passed in 10 minutes. The fact is that almost half of the patients within the next five years have a complete stroke.
Men get sick and die more often than women, especially under 60 years old. The risk of disease increases after 30 years. Most strokes are over 45 years old, more than 60% – after 65 years.

First aid for a stroke

Even if there are not all the signs, you should call a doctor as soon as possible and describe on the phone what symptoms the patient has. Before the arrival of the ambulance patient is comfortably put down, loosening all the straps, buttons, clasps. The headboard should be raised by 30 degrees, and the neck and back should be on the same line.
The patient is not given food and drink, so as not to provoke nausea. If vomiting begins, the head is tilted to the side.