Factors that determine mild stroke recovery time are explained in this article. Symptoms of a mild stroke often subside on their own but they should be considered as warning signs of an impending severe stroke. Read on to know how prompt treatment increases the chances of leading a quality life.
Interrupted blood supply which leads to death of some of the brain cells is known as stroke or brain attack. A stroke can be mini or complete; similarly it can be mild or severe. Blood supply to brain can get interrupted due to various reasons, for example, a clot in the artery, a blood vessel bursting in the brain and narrowing/hardening of arteries. Lack of oxygen and nutrients to brain results in impaired function of some of the body organs. Effects of stroke vary according to the area of the brain that is deprived of oxygen. The severity of the damage also depends upon for how much time an area in the brain is deprived of oxygen.
What is a Mild Stroke
When brain cells do not get sufficient oxygen and nutrients, they stop functioning. Centers which regulate your vision, speech, movement, etc., are located in the brain. As left side of the brain controls right side of the body and vice versa, the effects of stroke are experienced in either left or right side of the body, depending on the area that is actually affected.
As the name suggests, a mild stroke is that stroke which exhibits mild symptoms. When blood supply to brain is blocked for a brief period of time, the person may experience headache, dizziness and fainting. The person may find it difficult to raise his/her leg and/or hand. Numbness and tingling sensation in the extremities is one of the common symptoms of mild stroke. The person may not be able to understand what you are talking, he/she may not be able to reply or speak out. Drooping mouth, drooping eye, numbness/weakness in one leg or hand indicate stroke. A mini stroke may result in mild paralysis of one side of the face and/or body. If the center in the brain which controls vision is affected, then the person may experience vision problems like blurred vision, double vision, etc. Mild stroke does not involve any major brain tissue damage and hence the symptoms might disappear after a few minutes.
When symptoms of a stroke are noticed only for a few minutes (usually less than 5 minutes), and when the symptoms are not so severe, the condition is referred to as mild stroke. The symptoms often go away within five minutes but the mild brain attack should be considered as a warning sign of impending severe attack. Sometimes, a stroke leaves behind signs like paralyzed hand or leg. Difficulty in speaking, swallowing, breathing, walking can be experienced by stroke patients. Some patients lose control on their bowel function and may suffer from urine incontinence. Stroke symptoms vary from person to person. Mild stroke recovery time depends upon severity of the symptoms, how quickly the treatment is started and the overall health of the person.
If the family members or friends do not recognize the symptoms of a mini stroke, they do not take the patient to a hospital quickly. Delay in treatment can lead to slow recovery or no recovery at all. Calling 911 or an emergency helpline number of your area is essential in case of a stroke. The patient needs to be hospitalized quickly.
With the advancement of technology, various treatments are available which can greatly lower the effects of a stroke. Prompt and proper treatment within an hour or so, helps reduce the damage caused by the stroke significantly and it becomes possible to prevent permanent disability. Some studies show that stroke patients who were given t-PA (a protein that promotes breakdown of blood clots) within three hours after noticing the stroke symptoms, had more chances of having little or no disability after three months. Patients need to consult a neurologist after a stroke.
Healthy diet plays an important role in fast recovery after mild stroke. Avoiding cigarette, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, is essential if you are looking forward to fast recovery. High cholesterol levels increase the chances of stroke, so a low fat, low cholesterol diet should be followed. A low salt diet promotes normal blood pressure levels. Avoiding processed foods, canned foods will help avoid excess sodium in diet. The diet should consist of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables (rich in fiber and antioxidants), soups and fruit juices, whole grain products, lean meat, fish, low fat versions of dairy products, healthy fat like olive oil, etc. Trans fat and saturated fat should be avoided as healthy diet promotes fast recovery.
After a mild stroke, rehabilitation process helps recover fast from stroke damage. If the patient is stable after the brain attack, physiotherapy should be started immediately. Hand or leg paralysis, partial paralysis of the face can go away with proper exercises, provided the damage is mild. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, the recovery time may vary from a few days to a few months. Different muscles are to be trained so that they can be used in place of damaged muscles during various activities. Some patients need to undergo speech therapy. Throat can be stimulated electrically if the patient has swallowing difficulty. He may have to perform swallowing exercises. Those who have cognition problems, may have to undergo special training.
Certain drugs or injections like Botox, Dantrium, etc., promote fast recovery while use of certain medications can slow down the recovery. For example, if the patient is taking medications for high blood pressure like clonidine and prazosin, then these medications can slow down the recovery. Certain antianxiety or anticonvulsant drugs can affect the process of recovery.
Lack of emotional support from family and friends can slow down the process of recovery. As stroke patients suffer from several problems and disability, they need encouragement from the family members; otherwise depression can delay recovery significantly.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Even a mild stroke can result in long-term disability in patients. Mild stroke recovery time can be significantly reduced by performing necessary exercises and by following a healthy diet that can improve blood circulation in the body. Prompt treatment and family support help stroke patients to recover fast.