Stroke Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Medical Insurance | Royal Sundaram
What is Stroke?
In simple terms, when the oxygen supply to the brain (or a part of the brain) is cut off abruptly, the resulting condition ceases all brain function and is called a stroke or a brain attack. In medical terms, this is termed as a cerebrovascular accident or CVA. Death of brain cells may occur when the blood flow carrying oxygen is obstructed either by clots or damage to blood carrying arterial vessel to the brain.
Patients with a prior disposition for clogged or blocked arteries and recurrent blood clots are potential candidates for brain strokes. Being able to recognize the symptoms and early warning signs during an attack, and providing immediate and adequate assistance is the easiest method of stroke prevention.
Additionally, managing contributory risk factors like uncontrolled cholesterol and diabetes, abstaining from smoking and excess alcohol consumption, can effectively reduce the chances of a stroke. Keeping arterial diseases and defects in check and avoiding the onset of obesity and high BP can also diminish the chances of a stroke.
Strokes are largely categorized as Ischemic or Haemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes may be further divided into Thrombotic and Embolic; whereas Haemorrhagic strokes may further be classified as intracerebral or subarachnoid.
TIA or transient ischemic attack occurs for a short time and usually disappear within 24 hours. They are known to mimic stroke-like symptoms and are considered serious warning signs for a future stroke. They are not known to cause any long-lasting brain damage, but precautions should be taken to prevent future complications.
Ischemic or strokes caused due to blood clots are like heart attacks, wherein the blood supply is interrupted due to blockage in blood vessels. Haemorrhagic strokes are less common among strokes and are caused due to a leaking blood vessel or a burst aneurysm in the brain and mostly lead to certain death.
Strokes can strike anyone and at any time. Preliminary signs and stroke symptoms include
- Total or partial paralysis
- Weakness in upper limbs
- Unexplained severe headache
- Droopy face
- Sudden speech difficulties
- Visibility impairment
Patient history including age, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, past heart ailments (if any) and corresponding medications, checking for atherosclerosis, inspecting eyes to look for blood clots, etc. via comprehensive physical examination is done. Further testing may include blood tests, an Echocardiogram, a carotid ultrasound, CT (computerized tomography) scan, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan or a brain angiogram is done to map the arteries in the neck and cerebral region.
Invasive procedures like MRA (magnetic resonance angiography), or MRV (magnetic resonance venography) may also be done if needed. Your medical adviser needs to correctly determine the type of stroke to choose the most appropriate stroke treatment to follow once stroke diagnosis is concluded. Testing is done to diagnose strokes and to rule out tumours and possible drug reactions.
Stroke Treatment and Cost in India
Stroke treatment is done depending on the type and severity of the stroke. In ischemia cases, the treatment is concentrated on dissolving the clot and restoring the flow of blood to normal whereas, in Haemorrhagic patients, the main concern is to reduce pressure and reduce the bleeding in the brain, as quickly as possible.
Clot dissolving drugs are available for ischemia patients, which are administered intravenously within the initial few hours of the attack. Blood thinners like Aspirin, Heparin, and Clopidogrel are also prescribed. In such cases, the annual expenditures may run-up to a few thousand, mostly involving the price of medication, regular testing, and doctor consultation fees.
In other cases, intracranial vascular procedures like endovascular therapy which is a minimally invasive technique, medications, aspiration systems and mechanical retrievers, stents and balloons or surgery may be required to remove the bleeding and repair damaged vessels. These charges may run into lakhs, thus making sure you have a health insurance policy to cover the costs and minimize the financial burden during such trying times.
Health Insurance in India
Health Insurance is an essential cover for financial safety and affording quality medical care for your loved ones. Salaried individuals must opt for medical insurance / family floater insurance & can avail medical benefits as well as income tax exemptions against the premium paid.
Insurers in India are increasingly offering critical care cover for conditions such as stroke. With some of the best health insurance policies in India, you will be covered for treatment, care, and recovery. You should avail a plan which also substitutes lost income as one may require a considerable amount of time after recuperating from a stroke.
It is crucial to understand that critical illness such as stroke can drain entire savings and leave the patient in considerable debts. A health insurance policy may take off the financial burden of dealing with such conditions. You can compare the plans as well as the benefits offered and select the one which suits your needs the best.
Other Diseases in India
Several studies have suggested that habits formed at an early age will result in how a person will age. Waking up early, meditating, maintaining fitness habits by regular dancing, swimming, running etc. are some simple everyday activities one could pursue to lead a healthier life. Yet, a sedentary lifestyle and stress result in even young people falling prey to diseases. The overall apathy towards public cleanliness also results in multiple diseases.
Some other diseases commonly found in India include:
- Typhoid fever
- Multiple Sclerosis