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World Stroke Day 2020: What Are The Eight Early Symptoms Of Stroke?

Every year, World Stroke Day is observed on 29 October. The day aims to create awareness on the severity and frequency of stroke, and also about the prevention and treatment of the condition.

The first World Stroke Day was observed in 2004 by the World Stroke Organization (WSO), and the WSO declared stroke a public health emergency in 2010 [1]. The World Stroke Campaign's goodwill ambassadors include Indian Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.

The World Stroke Day 2020 theme is #Join the MoveMent, where health experts aim to create awareness on the importance of leading an active lifestyle and the numerous health benefits accorded to it, where prevention of stroke being one of them.

As per reports, India is facing a double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and points out that stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in India attributing to around 30 per cent of the overall morbidity. It is estimated that in every 40 seconds, someone suffers from a stroke and someone dies of a stroke in every four minutes, globally [2][3].

In the event of the World Stroke Day 2020, we have listed out the early symptoms associated with a stroke, that should not be ignored.


What Causes Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain stops or is restricted. If blood flow to the brain is stopped, then there will be permanent damage to the brain resulting in instant death [4]. Stroke develops when a clot formed in the brain blocks or restricts blood flow to the brain.

The part of the brain where blood flow is stopped starts to die, and the organs or parts of the body under the control of that damaged area of the brain are affected [5].

Stroke is an emergency condition and can also occur due to high blood pressure when the veins or small capillaries in the brain cannot stand the pressure of blood resulting in haemorrhage and formation of a blood clot in the brain [6].


What Are The Early Signs & Symptoms Of Stroke?

Speech problems: This is one of the early symptoms of a stroke. For a person who is at the risk of a stroke, there will be difficulty in speaking or the person may speak in jumbled words, along with the other symptoms, then there are 80 per cent chances of stroke [7].

Vision changes: Stroke causes double or blurred vision. It can also cause complete loss of vision in one eye. If you develop a sudden loss of vision, paired with a severe headache, bleeding or speech problems, get immediate help and inform the hospital [8].

Severe headache: If you have a sudden headache accompanied by weakness in one part of the body and feeling of dizziness, it could be an early symptom of a stroke [9]. If you also have increased heart rate, rush to the hospital for a check-up.

Nose bleeding: This is an early indication of high blood pressure which indicates that any small vessel in the brain has ruptured. If you have got any of the above symptoms along with nose bleeding, it is mostly a sign of stroke [10].

Loss of balance: If you suffer from vertigo, nausea, vomiting and find it difficult to balance your body while sitting or walking (along with any of the other mentioned symptoms), there are chances that you may get a stroke [11].

Weakness in arms and legs: If you feel weakness and difficulty while moving your one arm and one leg on one side of the body then, it could be a symptom of stroke [12]. To know whether a stroke is coming, extend both arms upwards and hold them in that position for 10 seconds. If one of the arms begins to fall uncontrollably, get medical attention immediately.

Breathing trouble: Since the breathing centre is located in the brain, if a person gets a stroke, he or she feels can find it difficult to breathe and your heartbeat rate will increase.

Distortion of the face: If one side of the face becomes numb and weak and if the muscles of the face start to stretch from one side including your mouth, get immediate medical help, as this is one of the most severe and common symptoms of stroke [13].


On A Final Note…

Suppose the person who got a stroke is not shifted to the hospital on time. In that case, it can result in death or paralysis of one side of the body, which is under control of that particular part of the brain, resulting in physical disabilities.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can anyone get a stroke?

Ans: Yes, anyone can have a stroke. Contrary to popular assumption, strokes are not common to just older people, but stroke can strike anyone at any time. While most people who have a stroke are older, younger people can have strokes too, including children.

Q. What foods can trigger a stroke?

Ans: There are certain foods that can cause damage in your body, triggering a stroke. Common foods that can trigger a stroke are baking soda, baking powder, red meat, MSG etc.

Q. What are the early warning signs of a stroke?

Ans: Sudden numbness, confusion, trouble seeing and walking, dizziness, severe headache etc. are some of the common early signs of a stroke.

Q. Can stress cause a stroke?

Ans: Scan causes your heart to work harder, increase blood pressure, and increase sugar and fat levels in the blood, which in turn can increase the risk of clots forming and travelling to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke. 

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