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Stroke Signs and Treatments

If there’s one thing that terrifies families of every household, it’s a silent killer, like strokes. What’s worse are mini-strokes, which cause damage but are much harder to notice.

Nothing’s worse than being unprepared and not knowing what happens next. Keep reading to find out how to recognize the early signs of mini-strokes and the steps that are normally taken afterward.

Signs of a Stroke

The exterior signs you and the potential stroke victim are looking for can be recognized in the handy acronym: BEFAST. That is,

  • Balance loss
  • Eyesight that is doubled, blurred, or lost
  • Face-drooping on one side while smiling
  • Arm-drooping when both arms are held out
  • Speech impediments
  • Time to call for help if you notice the above

Other symptoms that indicate a stroke but didn’t fit conveniently in the acronym are a headache that is followed by confusion, dizziness, and/or vomiting, and a numbing sensation in the legs, arms, and/or face.

How to Recognize the Signs of a Mini Stroke

Mini strokes don’t usually cause extreme stroke symptoms like loss of balance because they are just temporary losses in blood flow instead of a full stroke. However, mini stroke signs and symptoms still have similar symptoms to a full stroke, namely:

  • Facial drooping
  • Numbness
  • Severe headaches

Then there are the subtle symptoms that indicate a mini-stroke:

  • Dizziness
  • Coordination loss
  • And difficulties with
    – Understanding others
    – Walking
    – Speaking
    – Seeing
    – Or swallowing

Sometimes you won’t be successful in catching a stroke, and that’s not your fault. Many strokes happen in parts of the brain that won’t cause an obvious sign to show.

Initial Stroke Treatment

For mini-strokes, there’s no viable treatment because it’s less of a stroke and more of a warning sign for more severe strokes. “Treatments,” for mini-strokes would simply be preventative measures against another attack like exercise or blockage-clearing medications.

For serious full strokes, initial stroke treatments and recovery will start in the hospital. The doctor will first determine which stroke the patient had by performing a physical exam and taking blood samples, followed by a CT scan, an MRI, a cerebral angiogram, an echocardiogram, and/or a carotid ultrasound.

Long-Term Stroke Treatment

After you or your family have been stabilized, that’s when the post-stroke treatments and recovery begin. Normally, this includes a customized plan including various forms of therapy to encourage the brain to perform neuroplasticity – the process of making new neural connections around the damaged areas of the brain to reestablish lost or weakened functions. Stroke therapy plans typically include,

● Speech and language therapy

● Occupational therapy

● Physical therapy

● Sometimes even video games

This can be a very long and trying process for everyone involved, but it’s possible for the neuroplasticity to be assisted with Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT will supply either 20% or 100% oxygen to you while you’re in a chamber with higher ambient pressure. The steady oxygen supply will expand or promote capillary growth to increase blood and oxygen flow throughout the brain.

 

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