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How to recognise the symptoms of a deadly stroke

Dec 02, 2011 09:50 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the country, after heart disease and cancer. While a massive stroke can kill you within minutes, you can save yourself if you recognise the symptoms in time.

Dr Amit Verma, speaking to CNN-IBN, marks out what you can do to save yourself.

Symptoms of a stroke:

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. When this happens a part of the brain starts to die and certain body parts start disfunctioning. The symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness, weakness, paralysis, blurred sight, slurred speech and severe headache.

"If you have had any of any of these symptoms, call for help right away," says Dr Verma.

Dr Verma says that the first thing your doctor needs to do is to get a CT scan done to find out is whether its a blood clot or a vessel burst inside the brain that's causing the stroke.

"This is important because the treatments are different and dangerous if interchanged. Remember that in either case, quick treatment can help limit damage to the brain and increase the chance of a full recovery," he says.

After a person has had a stroke, they are at risk for having another one and they need to control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Certain lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and a healthy diet are essential.

Dr Verma says, "Remember, you have the greatest chance of regaining your lost skills and abilities during the first few months after a stroke. Take a daily aspirin if your doctor advises it."