Stroke Treatment in South Carolina
Best Stroke Doctors in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC
A stroke is a serious medical emergency that is the leading cause of disability in the US and the 5th leading cause of death.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a serious medical emergency that happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted by a clot or a ruptured blood vessel. This prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting to the brain, causing brain cells to die resulting in disability or death. If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms of a stroke, seek medical attention immediately.
Symptoms of a stroke can differ from person to person but the key symptoms to watch out for are:
- Sudden numbness in the face, arm, or leg on only one side of the body
- Sudden severe headache without cause
- Sudden vision problems
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, and an inability to understand others
- Sudden dizziness without a known cause
- Trouble walking due to sudden muscle weakness
Your doctor’s approach to treating a stroke varies depending on the type and severity of the stroke but focuses on restoring the blood flow to the brain and preventing any further damage or recurring strokes. There are two phases to treating a stroke; actively restoring blood flow to the brain and then rehabilitation after the emergency has passed. If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms of a stroke, seek immediate medical attention:
- Thrombolytic drugs can dissolve the blood clogs and restore blood flow to the brain.
- Surgical intervention may be necessary in the case of a hemorrhagic stroke to repair the damaged blood vessels and reduce bleeding.
- A procedure called mechanical thrombectomy that involves the removal of the blood clot using a catheter, often an option if thrombolytic drugs are unsuccessful.
What Causes a Stroke?
Strokes are unfortunately very common, and can be caused by a blood clot or when plaque buildup in an artery blocks the flow of blood to part of the brain. This is called an ischemic stroke. Another cause of stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain. This is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Common risk factors for strokes are high blood pressure, smoking, family history of stroke, clotting disorders, diabetes and obesity.
How to Prevent Stroke
The good news is that 80% of strokes can be prevented. As strokes can have devastating after effects for patients and their families, prevention is crucial. Here are the ways you can help prevent a stroke:
- Manage your risk factors including gaining control of your high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight and diet.
- Get regular exercise to improve your cardiovascular health.
- Quit smoking as smoking increases your risk of strokes.
- Limit your alcohol intake as excessive alcohol intake can increase your blood pressure and contribute to a risk of stroke.
- Visit your primary care provider for regular checkups and screenings to identify risk factors early.
A stroke is a medical emergency. If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of a stroke seek immediate medical attention. Diagnosing a stroke is a time-sensitive process as early intervention can improve your outcome significantly. Your doctor may order the following diagnostic tests:
- Physical exam to assess your neurological function by checking for signs of weakness, confusion, difficulty speaking, and loss of coordination.
- A CT scan to identify the type of stroke, allowing for appropriate treatment decisions.
- An MRI to assess the extent of the affected area in your brain.
- Blood tests to determine the underlying cause of the stroke such as high cholesterol or a clotting disorder.
Stroke Treatment in South Carolina
Our neurologists here at CONA are here to help if you or a loved one has suffered the after effects of a stroke.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A NEUROLOGIST
If you or a family member is struggling to recover from a stroke we here at the CONA Neurology Department can help. Consult your primary care physician or family doctor for a referral to one of our Neurology Specialists. Appointments are available by referral only. We serve patients from Spartanburg, SC, Duncan, SC, and Greenville, SC.