World Stroke Day – to raise awareness about this medical condition

World Stroke Day – October 29, celebrates each year tries to spread awareness about the prevention steps for this serious medical condition. As per studies, 1-in-4 could have a stroke. The day is observed to highlight increasing rates of stroke, its seriousness, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment and ensure comprehensive support and care for survivors. Major reasons being poor stroke awareness and under developed and fragmented stroke care services. Low and middle-income countries account for over 65% of stroke cases worldwide. While some succumb, many patients are rendered bedridden for the rest of their life. In addition to the above, some of the reasons are lack of stroke care delivery, infrastructure resources and human resources. More than one-third of people over the age of 70 may have a silent stroke and this perhaps is the second leading cause of disability.

During a stroke, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen supply that leads to permanent disabilities like memory deficiencies, difficulty in deciphering the language or walking. Many individuals have silent strokes wherein they have no easy-to-recognize symptoms, and are unaware of it. However, silent strokes do cause permanent damage to the brain. Furthermore, in case an individual experiences more than one silent stroke, he is likely to have problems related to memory. The disabilities are likely to occur in a step ladder pattern. Symptoms of a silent stroke that are often disregarded as insignificant, like, changes in mood, impairment of balance and coordination, loss of bladder control, loss of cognitive abilities, temporary lack of coordinated muscle movement. Common causes of silent strokes are diabetes, high blood pressure, narrowed arteries, high cholesterol levels and genetic causes. High blood pressure can put you at a higher risk of stroke. A stroke can be detected through a CT scan or an MRI of your brain. The images will show lesions where the brain cells have stopped functioning.

The prevention methods against stroke is to keep the blood pressure under control as high blood pressure raises the risk of having a silent stroke. Thus, control the blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a low-sodium diet, and getting regular check-ups. Regular exercise is a must. Working out for at least 30 minutes five days a week may reduce the chances of having a silent stroke by 40 percent. Always remember to keep lower the cholesterol levels and ensure that the overall cholesterol level is lower than 200 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol under 100 mg/dL. Say no to smoking as smoking is associated with an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke. Avoid diet drinks. Consuming artificially sweetened beverages can raise the risk for both dementia and stroke. Consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. While these are some guidelines to help reduce the risk of a silent stroke, it is essential to see the medical professional regularly and keep yourself at a reduced risk.