Like all other organs in the body the brain needs oxygen and nutrients in order to function. Oxygen and nutrients are carried by the blood, through the arteries to the brain. When blood supply to the brain is interrupted a stroke can happen either because, an artery is blocked (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.
A Haemorrhagic stroke is a bleed in the brain caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain, this causes blood to leak into the brain, stopping the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
Causes: Hemorrhagic stroke can be caused by a number of disorders which affect the blood vessels including long standing high blood pressure and cerebral aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of an artery that balloons out. As the aneurysm gets bigger, it gets weaker and can burst. If the aneurysm bursts, it leaks blood into the brain. A burst aneurysm is usually caused by high blood pressure (hypertension) or trauma (a sudden injury to the head).
Types of stroke
Ischemic stroke is a blocked artery, a stroke that is caused by a blood clot is called an ischemic stroke. In everyday life, blood clotting is beneficial. When you are bleeding from a wound, blood clots work to slow and eventually stop the bleeding. In the case of a stroke, however, blood clots are dangerous because they can block arteries and cut off blood flow.
There are two ways an ischemic stroke can occur:
If a blood clot forms somewhere in the body (usually the heart) it can travel through the bloodstream to your brain. Once in your brain, the clot travels to a blood vessel that’s too small for it to pass through. It gets stuck there and stops blood from getting through. These kinds of strokes are called embolic strokes.
As the blood flows through the arteries, it may leave behind cholesterol-laden ‘plaques’ that stick to the inner wall of the artery. Over time, these plaques can increase in size and narrow or block the artery and stop blood getting through. In the case of stroke, the plaques most often affect the major arteries in the neck taking blood to the brain. Strokes caused in this way are called thrombotic strokes.
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) or ‘mini stroke’ happens when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted for a short period of time. It is often called a ‘mini-stroke’, as the signs are the same as those of a stroke, but they do not last as long. The signs of a TIA may disappear in a few minutes and last no longer than 24 hours. They are often a warning that a stroke may occur. What are the signs of a TIA? The signs of a TIA depend on which part of the brain is not getting enough blood.
Signs and Symptoms of stroke
Signs and symptoms of stroke may include one or all of the following:
- weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg (on either or both sides of the body);
- Difficulty speaking or understanding, dizziness, loss of balance or an unexplained fall;
- Loss of vision;
- sudden blurred or decreased vision (in one or both eyes);
- headache; usually severe and of abrupt onset; and
- difficulty swallowing.
The effects of stroke
Every stroke is different. Each person affected by stroke will have different problems and different needs. The way in which you might be affected depends on where in the brain the stroke happens and how big the stroke is. A stroke on the right side of the brain generally causes problems on the left side of the body. A stroke on the left side of the brain causes problems on the right side of the body. Some strokes happen at the base of the brain and can cause problems with eating, breathing and moving.
Early treatment after a stroke
Early treatment after a stroke is vital as the faster you can get treatment the more brain can be saved. Recognising the signs and symptoms of a stroke and getting to hospital quickly for early treatment is important and greatly reduces the effects of a stroke as well as improving the possible outcome.
The Daughterly Care Joyful Living Approach™
Around half the people who have a stroke will be dependent on some form of care for help with their daily activities. Research suggests that recuperating in your own home following a stroke can have a very positive effect on recovery. Familiar surroundings can help people more easily learn or relearn skills and adapt to any physical limitations that may be present after a stroke. Living at home is highly motivational and promotes independence – two important factors for precipitating recovery.
Working alongside your team of specialists, our carers can assist individuals with everyday tasks that become more difficult, or even impossible after a stroke. Our experienced Daughterly Care team ensure that you or your loved-one has the best possible chance to recover and rehabilitate in the comfort of your own home. We offer vital support and a flexible in home care services which include:
- transport to appointments;
- light household duties; and
- meal preperation.
Your care plan will be tailored to your individual requirements and can be amended or changed at any time. Our team of Private Nurses are on hand to advise and support you and your family if you have any concerns or if your clinical condition changes. We offer Hourly care, Respite care, 24 Hour care and Live In care .
We’d love to come out and visit you in your own home obligation free and discuss how we can help. To arrange an appointment call us today (02) 9970 7333