Everything the human body does has one ultimate purpose, to feed the brain with oxygen. The heart, lungs, digestive track, skeleton and muscles all work together to keep the brain nourished.
Sometimes, the flow of oxygen to the brain gets interrupted. This is known as a stroke. Tiny blood vessels transport oxygen throughout the brain. If a blood vessel gets blocked or bursts, this temporarily deprives a section of the brain of oxygen.
The causes of stroke are relatively few, but the damage can cause a wide variety of problems.
Here are the most common symptoms of stroke:
- Loss of muscle function to one side of the face causing face to droop or sag
- Weakness or sudden paralysis to one side of the body affecting extremities or facial muscles
- Changes in vision. Possible double vision, tunnel vision, dimness or blurriness in one or both eyes.
- Difficulty formulating words and slurred speech.
- Inability to comprehend others, disorientation
- Severe headache the onsets quickly
Detecting a stroke can be tricky. The National Stroke Association has created the acronym FAST to help you quickly identify whether a stroke is occurring.
FACE - Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
ARMS - Ask the person to raise both arms. Is one unable to stay up?
SPEECH - Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Can you understand what they are saying? Is their speech slurred?
TIME - If any symptoms are shown, time is important. Get medical help immediately.
A healthy diet and exercise are good for the body, and reduce your risk.
The largest single risk factor is high blood pressure. Diet, stress and heredity all influence your blood pressure. Actively monitoring blood pressure, and seeking treatment for HBP when needed, is the most important step to preventing a stroke.
What if I suspect a stroke?
If you or a loved one are showing stroke symptoms, immediately acquire emergency care. Time is critical and a stroke onset is very rapid. Your doctor may treat you with medicine and will likely run a variety of tests. Some treatments are only effective within the first three hours, so time is of utmost importance.
Stroke treatment usually requires hospitalization to stabilize symptoms. At this point, your physician will assess damage to the brain.
Stroke recovery at home
Following the stroke, the brain cannot regrow damaged cells, however new paths will form in the brain to reactivate living cells that become disconnected. The process is slow, and requires a variety of therapies to regain use of damaged regions.
Typically the hospital stay after a stroke is relatively short. Your physician will likely recommend rehabilitation in a nursing facility or at home, or some combination of the two.
Home health care is often used during recovery.
- Skilled nurses can administer medications, educate the patient and their family, and monitor ongoing health problems related to the stroke.
- Physical therapy can help regain lost movement or compensate for muscles that no longer respond to brain signals.
- Occupational therapy can help regain the ability to manage activities of daily life.
- Speech therapy can help compensate if the stroke leaves facial muscles damaged to regain speech and improve swallowing.
- Home health aides provide assistance with daily activities, and are helpful in monitoring daily progress.
Whether you are a resident of a rehab facility or recovering at home, Allegiance Home Health can provide the support you and your family require during and after stroke recovery.
Our stroke specialists look at the entire family. Beyond the medical care, patients and their families often struggle with difficulty in communication, breakdown of social interaction, and added stress associated with long term health issues.
You can rest assured knowing your loved one is in the caring and knowledgeable hands of our staff.
Call Allegiance Home Health Care- at (888) 367-0711. Let our trained staff be part of your loved ones recovery team.