Stroke is a common form of vascular disease that can lead to long-term complications, such as paralysis, speech impairments, and vision loss. A combination of awareness about stroke and medical interventions can minimize long-term damage associated with stroke.
Know the Symptoms
The symptoms of stroke may not always be easy to recognize and can be blamed on less serious problems, such as migraines with neurological symptoms or transient ischemic attack (TIA). An ischemic stroke occurs when there is an obstruction in blood flow to or within the brain. The symptoms of an ischemic stroke often occur on one side of the body. Depending on what part of the brain is affected, motor coordination, speech, cognition, and/or vision might be affected. Hemorrhagic stroke can have similar symptoms, but may be more likely to start as a severe headache. Knowing the symptom of stroke means you can identify problems quickly and receive prompt treatment while some effects are potentially reversible.
Seek Prompt Treatment
The treatment available will depend on the type of stroke and in some cases, how long it has been since symptoms began. For example, clot-dissolving medications may be administered in a suspected ischemic stroke, but only if the stroke occurred within the last three hours. Outside of the three-hour window, the only option may be palliative treatment aimed at addressing symptoms. Sometimes if a clot or reduced blood flow is identified in the carotid artery, endovascular surgery may be used to unblock and stent the carotid artery, thereby reducing the chance of another stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke is harder to treat because of bleeding in the brain. Surgeons can attempt to stop the bleeding with surgery and repair the blood vessel to prevent future bleeding.
Engage In Rehabilitation
Rarely do people have a stroke and are left unscathed. Stroke rehabilitation is invaluable in helping people cope with even minor changes in their life after stroke. Rehabilitation can include physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy. A significant stroke might require relearning basic tasks, such as learning to swallow food without aspirating liquids or identifying common objects. Fortunately, many stroke rehabilitation programs are available as residential programs in long-term care facilities. This gives stroke patients the best opportunity to have a wide variety of services available 24/7 until they can return home or to assisted living.
Reducing long-term complications associated with stroke is a matter of identifying stroke symptoms quickly and receiving treatment quickly. Even with severe complications, there is a possibility of at least partial recovery by engaging in a rehabilitation program. Talk to a stroke specialist near you for more information.