Salons are often the centres of relaxation for a lot of us. A good head massage or a hair wash can work the magic after a long day. However, little was known about a rare condition called ‘Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome’ and how, if ignored, it can alter your entire course of life. Recently, a Hyderabad-based neurologist treated a woman who showed symptoms of this syndrome and explained about it through his Twitter. According to neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar, the 50-year-old woman showed symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, which first began when she was getting a hair wash with shampoo in a beauty parlour. The woman was “initially taken to a gastroenterologist, who treated her symptomatically”.
Dr Kumar took to Twitter to further explain the situation and wrote that the initial treatment did not help the woman as “she developed mild imbalance while walking” the next day. “She referred to me for my opinion. She had mild right cerebellar signs. MRI brain revealed infarct in the right posterior inferior cerebellar territory, MR angiogram showed left vertebral hypoplasia,” the neurologist said. As per the experts, her stroke was caused when she bent her neck back for the hair wash when a crucial blood vessel supplying the brain got pressured.
In an interaction with The Indian Express, Dr Kumar said that in 10-20% people, “One side of the artery may be thin which can lead to stroke when the other thick side’s artery is kinked or gets compressed with any kind of hyperextension of the neck”. “In this particular case, the woman’s left side artery was thin. So, when her neck was tilted slightly to the right, it got kinked or compressed with the hyperextension which led to a stroke,” Dr Kumar added. He further said he has seen “two more severe cases and more than 12 cases with milder symptoms”.
What are the symptoms of ‘Beauty Parlour Stroke Syndrome’?
According to experts, the symptoms of this syndrome include severe dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting and facial numbness. “Take home message: Stroke affecting vertebro-basilar artery territory can occur during shampoo hair-wash in a beauty parlour, especially in women with other atherosclerotic risk factors and undetected vertebral hypoplasia. Prompt recognition and treatment can prevent disability,” Dr Kumar tweeted.
Treatment and Preventive measures
According to the IE’s interaction with Dr Kumar, he mentioned that blood thinners are recommended for people with stroke. “While some recover well post stroke, others owing to co-morbidities and age may need to be on medication throughout life,” he said.
The report further quoted Dr Pavan Pai, interventional neurologist and stroke specialist, as saying that people must ensure that their head should not be twisted hard at the salons. “If you feel dizzy while hair washing with hyperextension of the neck, then lie down immediately. The person should be immediately taken to the doctor without any delay,” Dr Pai added.