Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the third most common cause of death. Stroke affects 180-210 people per lakh globally and 123 per lakh in India every year.
One of the most worrying facts about stroke is that it is affecting more and more of the younger population in today's world.
Due to the lack of awareness, the treatment is getting delayed and by the time the disease gets diagnosed, it would have been too late and it might even turn fatal at times.
So what exactly is stroke?
Stroke refers to the lack of blood supply to the brain. But, sometimes, it also includes brain haemorrhage and venous blockage, which is also referred to as stroke. Apart from the blood, when the brain cells fail to get the required amount of oxygen and glucose, it can cause stroke.
When the patient fails to get the correct medical intervention at the right time, which is also referred to as the 'golden hour', then it might lead to brain damage and cause death as well.
Also Read: Why Stroke Occurs More In Women
There are two major types of strokes - Ischaemic stroke and Hemorrhagic stroke. Among those people who are diagnosed with stroke, 20%-35% of them die and a few others are likely to have a permanent disability.
Due to the lack of awareness and myths, people miss on the 'golden hour'. As a result, today, brain attack has become the leading cause of disability and in India, stroke is the 3rd cause of death. Earlier, people use to think that men are at risk but today women are equally at a risk too.
Hence, making the people aware of this deadly health condition is highly essential. So, on this World Stroke Day, we have Dr. Venkataramana N. K., Founder & Chief Neurosurgeon, BRAINS (Neuro spine center), Bangalore, who will be throwing some light on the ways to prevent stroke and other valuable facts on stroke that one needs to know of.
Q1. Who are at a greater risk of stroke?
Dr.Venkataramana: People above 45 are at a greater risk of developing stroke. Diabetics, those with hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, smokers, long-term alcoholics and sedentary workers are at a higher risk of stroke. Other high-risk prone groups are those who have blood vessel diseases, heart diseases or sometimes, it can also be genetic.
Q2. What are the best ways to prevent stroke?
Dr.Venkataramana: Any person above 45, especially with the risk factors, need to get the periodic check-up done, identify the personal risk factor and control them. Regular exercise and a proper sleep helps. Another risk factor is people who snore are more prone to getting stroke. These need to be treated properly. Proper diet, keeping away from alcohol and substance abuse are a must, especially if they have a family history and hence they need to be extra cautious.
Q3. What are the survival chances after stroke?
Dr.Venkataramana: Survival depends on the time we take to act. If diagnosed quickly and intervened very quickly, then a patient can recover in 24 hours. If the window period is gone, then the disability persists for long for a few of them. For some, it can lead to a permanent damage as well.
Q4. How about the alternative mode of treatment?
Dr. Venkataramana: Alternative treatment for stroke is directed for the rehabilitation part. It can be provided at a later point of time. The first thing that needs to be done is to establish a diagnosis and avoid missing the golden hour.