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Different Types of Strokes and How to Treat Them

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Strokes occur among nearly 800,000 people every year and of this number, 130,000 strokes are fatal. Individuals over the age of 65 make up the majority of people who experience strokes at approximately 66 percent. The greatest risk factors associated with stroke include elevated cholesterol, untreated hypertension and smoking. Providers of Orlando in-home stroke care have provided the following information so families can understand what types of strokes there are and how to treat them once they are identified.

Ischemic Strokes

More than 85 percent of strokes are considered ischemic. The term ischemia means a lack of oxygen, which is what happens to the brain during this type of stroke. Heart conditions, infections or high cholesterol cause blood or plaque to build up on the side of a vessel wall that blocks oxygen-rich blood from circulating. The build-up enlarges over time and eventually the debris breaks free and travels to the brain where it blocks a blood vessel. Cells beyond the blockage suffer blood and oxygen starvation, and without these nutrients, brain cells malfunction and  cause visible stroke symptoms. Without medical intervention, the cells die and the symptoms become permanent.

Hemorrhagic Strokes

13 percent of people are diagnosed with hemorrhagic strokes each year. Hemorrhagic conditions refer to bleeding in or around the brain and are also known as either intracerebral or subarachnoid strokes. The condition occurs when a blood vessel is weakened by an aneurysm or an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) tears or ruptures. The blood flows into the brain or into the tissues surrounding the brain and creates pressure that interferes with neuronal communication and leads to stroke symptoms. When left untreated, the increasing pressure causes permanent cell death.

Stroke Intervention

Treatment depends on the cause and location of the problem. Initially, physicians use intravenous contrast dye combined with CT or MRI scans, which determine the trauma site. The administrations of clot-busting medications within three hours usually dissolve the blockage that causes ischemic strokes. After locating the bleed, intervention may involve vascular catheterization or surgical procedures. In either scenario, seniors generally receive physical therapy and enlist the help of Orlando in-home caregivers to regain as much function, strength and mobility as possible. Ischemic stroke patients often receive prescriptions that treat the underlying cause.

After experiencing a stroke, seniors may need help with daily activities like cooking, cleaning, or running errands. Turn to the compassionate caregivers at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Orlando families can trust. Our dedicated staff offers flexible care schedules on an as-needed basis, day or night. Call an experienced Care Manager today at 407.232.7155 to learn more about our part-time and live-in care services, and schedule your free consultation.