Every year World Stroke Day is observed on October 29 to emphasize the serious nature and high rates of stroke. The day is also observed to raise awareness of the prevention and treatments of strokes.
A stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks a vessel in the brain. The blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the area, causing the brain cells to die.
There are many symptoms of a stroke like having an excess dropping of the face due to relaxed muscles, but the fact is, there can also be silent stroke symptoms. This means that it is possible to have a stroke without even getting to know about it, and the result of that can be far more damaging.
According to Harvard Health, depending on its location, a clot can cause symptoms like weakness in an arm or leg or even trouble speaking or seeing. But sometimes, the area of damage is quite small and occurs in a part of the brain that doesn't control any vital functions, so the stroke remains undetected.
Signs and symptoms of a silent stroke
A stroke that is followed by lesser-known or less obvious symptoms can sometimes be far more damaging to the brain and body as a whole. Those who do not know they have had a stroke may go longer leaving their bodies untreated for stroke prevention.
Unlike the symptoms of a heart attack where there are obvious signs of pain and discomfort, a silent stroke may include:
· Sudden lack of balance
· Temporary loss of muscle movements
· Memory loss
· Change in personality
· Cognitive skills and ability
· Trouble walking
· Blindness in one eye or cuts in your field of vision
· Sudden, severe headache
Can silent strokes be prevented?
According to the Mayo Clinic, while it is hard to spot a silent stroke, it is even harder to restore areas of the brain affected by them. Here are a few things you can do to prevent strokes from happening:
· Get blood pressure under control: High blood pressure raises your risk for silent stroke and hence it is important to keep it under control.
· Exercise: Regular exercising and workouts can reduce the chances of having a stroke by up to 40 per cent, doctors say. It is important to indulge in high to moderate-intensity exercises for at least 30-45 minutes daily.
· Cut down on salt: According to the American Stroke Association, high salt intake can increase the chances of heart attacks and stroke. Hence, it is imperative to reduce sodium intake.
· Weight management: Obesity and being overweight can rapidly increase the chances of a stroke. And so, strive to keep your weight at a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9.
· Lower cholesterol levels: To reduce the risk of a stroke, keep cholesterol levels low. According to health experts, your good cholesterol should ideally be 60 mg/dL or higher. Your LDL (bad) cholesterol should be under 100 mg/dL.
· Stop smoking: Cut your smoking habit to reduce the risk of stroke.
· Eat a balanced diet: Eat fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, and meats for your heart health.