The Causes And Effects Of Strokes

Strokes are caused by a lack of oxygen to the appropriate area of the brain. Oxygen is of course carried through the body via the blood. A stroke is a medical emergency as it can cause numerous types of complications and even death. A stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States and Europe. The effects of strokes can range in severity from extremely mild to paralysis. The affliction is limited to one side of the body – the side opposite the side of the brain that was oxygen deprived.

With some stroke victims that are affected in the limbs, they may still retain some control of their arms and legs. However, in some cases their muscles may shake so badly that the sufferer requires assistance with even the simplest of tasks. He may not be able to keep his balance well enough to walk and therefore may need a wheelchair.

Symptoms of strokes usually come on very suddenly and seemingly without cause. Face weakness, arm dangling, and abnormal speech are the usual early signs of a stroke, but they can include any or all of the following:

• Brief loss of consciousness
• Dizziness or loss of balance
• Difficulty speaking or understanding others
• Sudden weakness or numbness of face, arm, etc. (particularly on one side of body)
• Intense headache that comes on suddenly and unexplained
• Sudden nausea
• Blurred or dimmed vision

After these basic symptoms are noted the patient will be in an emergency room and at that time he/she will likely be assessed for the following:

• Inability to move tongue from side to side or to protrude it
• Inability to turn head to one side
• Altered smell, taste, hearing, or vision
• Altered breathing or heart rate
• Decreased reflexes and sensations
• Problems with balance

Just as with other health a matter, prevention is always the best way to deal with strokes. And the way to prevent a stroke is much like the way you would prevent heart disease or in general, live a healthy lifestyle. First of all you need to control your blood pressure. You also need to insure that your diet is nutritious and healthy, including being low in salt, cholesterol and alcohol, but rich in potassium. Regular exercise is advised and of course, smoking is frowned on.

The effects of stroke can affect victims in various ways, including physically, emotionally, mentally, or even a combination of any two or all three. The resulting dysfunctions are related to the areas of the brain that have been damaged. If severe enough, the stroke can result in coma or even death.